January ends with a lot of local entertainment.
Craig Cardiff returns to the University of Lethbridge to hold a songwriting workshop. He’ll also be playing a show up in the Zoo in the Students’ Union Building, Jan. 31 beginning at 8:30 p.m.
Over at the Slice, Taylor Ackerman hosts this week’s open mic.
Punk/surf band Chief Mountain play the Slice Feb. 1 to help open a new art exhibit from Robyn Alicia.
The Slice has a big rock show Friday, Feb. 2 with Calgary indie rock/alternative rock band Free the Cynics plus Gabriel Thaine’s rock band the Coulee Rattlers as well as local rock band Good Time Charlie. Admission is by donation.
Makiisma, a.k.a. Megan Brown, is back in town and playing a lot. This weekend, she shares the Owl Acoustic Lounge stage with the New Weather Machine, Friday, Feb. 1. As usual admission is by donation.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge also has a big acoustic rock show, Feb. 2 with J Blissette playing a solo show plus Biloxi Parish’s Zach Passey.
If you want to laugh, Good Times welcomes High River-born, Toronto-based comedian Noor Kidwai. He performs at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance $15 at the door. Mike Dambras’s Feb. 2 shows are already sold out.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge also has their monthly comedy open mic on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
For something a little different, the Lethbridge Handmade Market returns to Exhibition Park Feb. 2. So check out 110 local artisans from Lethbridge and all over Canada providing a variety of goods and services. The market runs 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $4.
For something different again, Feb. 2 is Play Your Ukulele Day/International Ukulele Day/World Play Your Ukulele Day. Either way, grab your uke and be at the ATB Room at Casa from 11:30 -noon and play away.
The first big rock show of the year is Tuesday, Feb. 5 at Average Joe’s with Hamilton/Toronto-based, Nova Scotia-born rock band the Trews, who are touring in support of their long-awaited new CD “Civilianaires.” Edmonton-based indie rock/alt country band Altameda is opening the show at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 day of the show.
Four years is way too long in between studio albums.
“That’s too long. We released our studio album four years ago and had a greatest hits album in between that. But four years is too long. We won’t be doing that again,” said Trews lead guitarist John-Angus MacDonald from his home of Hamilton, noting he is pleased to have finally released their new album and is excited to embark on a tour in support of it.
The Trews’ “Civilianaires” tour stops by Average Joe’s Feb. 5 with Edmonton’s Altameda.
The Trews played Whoop-Up Days in 2016, but were at Average Joe’s, in 2016 in support of the greatest hits package “Time Capsule” and companion album “The Vault.”
They recorded the new album “Civilianaires” over the past two years with two different producers, including the legendary Bob Rock and young up-and-comer Derek Hoffman, who has worked with The Elwins and Seaway.
In the process, Hoffman helped the Trews experiment with their sound.
“A lot of the sounds that sound like keyboards are actually guitar sounds with looping and effects. I don’t have the patience, but Derek can do them lightning fast,” MacDonald said, adding the band wrote a lot of songs for the CD.
“We wrote at least 20 songs for it,” he said.
They also feature a couple of special guests like the Arkells’ Max Kerman on “Vintage Love” and Serena Ryder on the title track “Civilianaires.”
“We’re very pleased with it. It’s been received very well by people who are giving it a life of its own,” he said.
“Vintage Love” has also been used for SportsCentre.
MacDonald is looking forward to the tour in support of “Civilianaires.”
“It begins in Victoria and we’re playing a lot of smaller cities. It can be challenging,” he said, adding they are also looking forward to meeting Altameda.
“They’re joining us from B.C. to Manitoba,” he said, adding he can’t promise a big jam session at the end as it did with the Glorious Sons a few years ago.
“We’ve known the Sons since they started. We’ve been friends for a long time so that jam session formed pretty organically,” he said.
After this tour they will begin work an on other new album.
“We’d like to have a new album out by the end of 2019 or early 2020,” he continued.
Trews and Altameda play Average Joe’s, Tuesday Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. sharp. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 the day of the show.
Drunken Sailor afterparty, Suzie and the Homewreckers
I always enjoy hearing a local band I haven’t heard for long time. So were a lot of people celebrating Drunken Sailor’s sixth anniversary party at the Owl Acoustic Lounge with Suzie and the Homewreckers, Saturday, Jan. 19.
Everybody was dressed in the funkiest, rockabilly-influenced styles for the show.
I was just in time for the Homewrecker’s second set. They played a refreshingly different and diverse set of covers of a variety of garage rock, punk,new wave music and psychedelic rock ranging from the Zombies to the Misfits.
A big highlight was a great cover of Joe Jackson’s “Got the Time,” followed by the MC5’s “Kick Out the jams.”
They snuck in some “California Sun,” which was closer to the original than the Ramones’ popular cover.
They went more modern with the Distillers’ “City of Angels.“ They also played a song from the Empire Record’s soundtrack, and then went classic rock with a great cover of KISS’s “Strutter.”
They showed their metal side on Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” before calling it a night.
The Slice a had a big rock show Saturday, Jan. 19. I missed St. Groove and Dayparting, but was just in time for Calgary’s The Rumble. They played a solid set of alternative rock with just a touch of keyboard for a more pop sound.
Bazaraba, Rainbow Patrol, iiNNii at the Slice
It was stoner rock night at the Slice, Friday, Jan. 18 for local band the Rainbow Patrol’s CD release party for their new CD “Phantasmagoria.”
A new local heavy rock band, iiNNii, played their first show for a decent crowd mostly waiting for Bazaraba and the Rainbow Patrol. The band included guitarist/vocalist Evan Herbst, lead guitarist Sterling Brave Rock, drummer Zach Beres and Richard Charlton, doing double duty on bass for this show, as he was also playing with Rainbow Patrol, who closed the night.
iiNNii played slow, ponderous, groove-based detuned, sludgy rock, while a black-and-white film of a running buffalo, with the name iiNNii, played on a screen in front of the stage.
Calgary’s Bazaraba also embraced multi-media. Complementing their fast, abrasive, detuned set of original rock, they had a loop of disturbing B-movie images of a variety of screams, various murders, electrocutions and a creepy marionette.
They have played the Slice several times over the past few months, and are always an experience. The three-piece — a drummer, guitarist and bassist — took turns shouting lead vocals and gang background vocals throughout a long, tight set of ferocious punk tinged, detuned rock and stoner rock.
Rainbow Patrol continued in the detuned alternative rock vein, lying somewhere between iiNNii’s ponderous sludge and Bazarabra’s ’s energetic rock.
But Rainbow Patrol wove in more psychedelic solos with a more laidback, downtuned groove. They picked up the tempo, touched the border of metal and all in all put on a solid set, ending the rocking highlight “Badmamajujujive,” which had a more classic rock feel.
Queen of the Worms at the Owl
Queen of the Worms showed their many musical sides at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, Jan. 18.
The trio of vocalist/guitarist Tyler Bird, bassist Paul Holden and drummer Clayton Smith played a lot of blues and blues-tinged rock in the set I heard. And, as usual, they had a good-sized crowd out to support them.
In addition to more bluesy material, they also played upbeat alt country and more rock-related songs.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Standup Comedy open mic
Beaches — open mic
The Zoo/U of L Craig Cardiff songwriter workshop
Slice — open mic with Taylor Ackerman
The Zoo — Thursday Thursday open mic
U of L Craig Cardiff songwriting workshop
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Makiisma with the New Weather Machine
The Slice — Chief Mountain with artist Robyn Alicia
Good Times — Noor Kidwai $10
Casa — Play Your Ukulele Day 11:30-12 p.m.
Good Times — Mike Dambra
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — J Blissette solo, Zach Passey, Marigold
The Slice — Free the Cynics, The Coulee Rattlers, Good Time Charlie
The Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
Average Joe’s — 8 p.m. the Trews with Altameda $35 in advance $45 day of show
Beaches — open mic
The Slice — open mic
Club Lime — Serial Killaz with Stevie heavy and Verboze $20 9:30 p.m.
Good Times — Comedy open mic
Slice — In Cahoots with Megan Rourke
Average Joe’s — Dueling Pianos with cal Toth
Good Times — Old Kids on the Block (Conor Christmas, Connor HD, Blaine Hutchinson) $15
Casa — Lethbridge Folk Club Open mic
Good Times — Alex Biron
Slice — CKXU Loves You Dayglo Daydream ’80s dress up party with Adequate,,Key Puncher,KnightLaser $10