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Busy week ahead for live music

Posted on April 10, 2019 by Richard Amery

Theoretically Brewing is starting to host more bands. This week it features A bbotsford-based post punk band Blessed and Cosmo Duff who are playing defunct local band The Bummer Club’s video release party at 7 p.m., April 10. Admission is $10. Blessed are touring in support of their new full-length CD “Salt,” which was released, April 5.
The Geomatic Attic welcomes back alt-country Country singer Whitney Rose with Shaela Miller playing the Geomatic Attic, April 11
Tickets are $35 in advance $40 at the door. She was last here Feb. 16, 2018.
There are a lot of things happening on the weekend, as usual.
Bluesman Charlie Jacobson is at The Slice April 12.
And Cal Toth brings back Duelling Pianos to Average Joe’s on Friday, April 12.
Casa will also be a busy place on Friday with the Lethbridge Folk Club open mic happening at 7 p.m.
In the ATB Community Room, Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra brings Russian Gems as part of their Extras series. Tickets are $25. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
Across town, Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive few return to the Watertower to play April 12 and 13.
Todd Ness will be making you laugh at Good Times for two shows at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. April 12.
One of James Oldenburg’s bands, Bandemonium, returns to Casino Lethbridge April 12 and 13.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge features songwriters Kevin Giron, Tyson Ray Borsboom and Field Guide on Friday, April 12.
Calgary indie rock band the Ashley Hundred return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, April 13 with Matlock, Manitoba musician and multi-instrumentalist Micah Erenberg.
Saturday will be busy with several events beginning in the afternoon and morning, starting with the Lethbridge Handmade market at Exhibition Park, beginning at 9 a.m.
Kavanagh and Hepher play the Stoketown Cafe’s regular brunch series on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Lethbridge Music and Speech Arts festival winds up with their Stars of the Festival concert at the Yates Theatre at 2:30 p.m.
That night, across the street at Southminster United Church, the Cancerblast Fundraiser features the Bridge Brass Quintet and Friends including trumpet virtuoso Jens Lindemann, Anna McBryan and more blowing the concert away with the power of brass. Tickets are $25. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
The Geomatic Attic features a country rock and indie show on Saturday with Altameda and local indie rock band the Silkstones beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance $35 at the door.
The Slice brings back energetic funk-infused Calgary rockers Orbit the Fox with Alberta trio Feel Good Jacket who are in the middle of a tour.
Just down the road at the Empress, Juno-winning folk musician David Francey stops by the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod in support of his new Juno nominated CD “The Broken Heart of Everything.” Tickets are $37.50. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.
And, last, but not least, the monthly ukulele jam is back at casa at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 14.
Abbotsford-based experimental rock/post punk band Blessed are excited to release their debut full-length album “Salt,” which was released, April 5. Since forming in 2015, they have released two EPs and and a single on Buzz Records.
Today is a good day to call,” said guitarist/vocalist Drew Reikman, who is glad the CD is finally out.
“We booked three weeks to record it in 2016 with producer Jace Lasek form Montreal band the Besnard Lakes.
And then we sat on it for a year while we decided how to release it as most people listen to music through streaming. We eventually decided to release it independently,” Riekman said. He and bandmates Mitchell Trainor, Reuben Houweling, Jake Holmes and Matt McKeen play Theoretically Brewing, Wednesday, April 10 for the Bummer Club’s video release party with special guests Cosmo Duff.
He noted they have always used outside engineers and producers.
“It’s important to have the sixth member of the band who is there when arguments happen, so that this isn’t worth arguing about and this is where you should be focusing,” he said, adding the band is a democracy so there are always a lot of ideas being explored.
“And we really like Jace’s work in Besnard Lakes and on all his other projects like Suns and Wolf Parade, so just to have him as that guy was amazing,” he said.
They decided to get away to Montreal to fully immerse themselves in the recording and experimental process.
“It had a different feel and a different dynamic in Montreal than when you’re a recording at home and sleeping in your own bed and hanging out at your own haunts, it’s easy to get distracted. But everything was different in Montreal we worked in the studio, slept there and started working again,” he said, adding the band had the songs worked out before they recording them.
“We didn’t have the luxury or the budget of writing in the studio, so we came in prepared,” he said, adding the CD shows are an evolution since they started.
“There’s a full-on electronica song on this album, but there were electronica elements on the last EP as well, so you can see the natural evolution.” he continued, adding the CD shows a lot of different influences including a strong ’80s new wave sound.
“We love ’80s music, but we also like a lot of modern 2019 pop so that’s also on the CD so hopefully all of that comes through on the CD. We increased our experimentation,” he said.
He couldn’t pinpoint one specific thing they enjoyed the most about working with Jace Lasek.
“He’s been doing this for a lot of years, so if we told him we were looking for a specific sound, he would help get us there,” he said.
They have a busy year ahead of them, including this long tour which takes them through most of the United States, and back in time to play Sled Island on June 22. They are also planning their first European tour in the fall, though nothing has been finalized yet. But first they are going down south.
“We’re playing all the states except for about eight. We’ve played about 100 shows there over the past three years” he said, adding they enjoy the experience.
“There’s a lot more going on than you hear about in the media. When you get down there and you’re involved with the arts and meeting other people who are also into DIY, it’s a community and it feels like you’re with friends,” he said.
The show begins at 7 p.m. there is a $10 cover.
Whoop-Up Days is getting bigger and better under the guidance of new general manager Mike Warkentin.
Whoop-Up Days begins Aug. 20 with a big country night, featuring Lethbridge’s Corb Lund, Aaron Goodvin and Alee.
“We’re very excited to present this year’s entertainment. We have a three- to five-year plan to make Whoop-Up Days bigger,” Warkentin said. There are new community partnerships with Visit Lethbridge and Lethbridge Community College and there will be more security due to an exciting new, bigger lineup. Even better, ticket prices are going to be cheaper, going down to $12 in advance and $15 at the gate. An EX pass is available as well, allowing admission to every night for $34.
“We’ve talked with people and that was the biggest complaint that ticket prices were too high,” Warkentin said.
This year, there will also be priority seating for all concerts.
The stage site is being changed to a face the south to allow a 7,500 capacity, whereas the capacity before was 3,000.
There is no classic rock this year, which usually dominates Whoop-Up Days; instead there are a lot of bigger contemporary names and up-and-coming stars.
The Sam Roberts Band, who last played Lethbridge in April 2011, headline on Aug. 21 with Edmonton-based, Juno-nominated alternative/soul musician Nuela Charles and Calgary-based country/roots musician Mariel Buckley.
“It’s not to say we won’t have classic rock but we wanted to book the best lineup we could this year to appeal to the widest range of people as possible,” Warkentin said.
It will be all about indie rock and blues on Aug. 22 with Burlington, Ontario folk/ rock band Walk off The Earth, Edmonton based Indie rock band Scenic Route To Alaska and Toronto-based blues/soul band The Julian Taylor Band.
It is alternative rock night Aug. 23 with the Hamilton rockers the Arkells, Dundas, Ontario rockers The Dirty Nil and Vancouver indie pop band Dear Rouge.
Whoop-Up Days is also featuring a rap and hip hop night finishing things off on Friday, Aug. 24 with Atlanta rapper Lil Jon, Notorious YEG and Harman B.
There will be up-and-coming country stars entertaining nightly in the “Let Er Buck Saloon” which opens at 3 p.m. for a $4 beer happy hour until 6 p.m. and then remain open until 1 a.m. with Medicine Hat duo Mahoney performing Aug. 20, Ryan Lindsay, Aug. 21, the Justin Hogg Band on Aug. 22, The Abrams, Garrett Gregory and Justin Hogg Band, Aug. 23 and the Chris Buck band and Karac Hendriks performing, Aug. 24.
Thanks to a new partnership with the Lethbridge College Student’s Association, Aug. 23 is students night with discounted tickets for anyone with a valid student’s ID. That will result in money being donated back to the Student’s Association to improve student life on campus.
Admission to all concerts is included in gate admission, however, there are also 500 seat priority tickets for the bigger shows.
“That is for the superfans, who are willing to pay a premium price and want to be right next to the stage and want to have shorter lines to the washrooms and bar,” said Warkentin, who returns home to Lethbridge after working with the Northlands Exhibition in Edmonton. Those ticket prices vary according to on the show.
These special tickets can be purchased in advance online, for approximately $20-$25 depending on the show, which also includes Whoop-Up Days admission.
ExVIP tickets go on sale, April 4, with general admission tickets on sale April 5.
There is plenty of action on the midway as well with Tech Arial Tech, theatrical circus performers, partner acrobats, jugglers, aerialist and stilt walkers Mango and Dango and the Adventures of the Flying Umbrella Ship perform daily as doesDan the One Man Band and President’s Choice Superdogs new show Acrobark performing throughout each day.
Comedic hypnotist Roger Boucher will perform family friendly shows during the day and more adult oriented comedic hypnotism at night.
“That will give you something to talk about over the water cooler the next day,” Warkentin chuckled.
JJ First Charger will be bringing First Nations fancy dancing and, hoop dancing, singing and drumming throughout the day.
And the travelling exhibit Venom explores the worlds of venomous creatures. And West Coast Amusements returns to supply midway rides and games.
“It’s going to be an exciting event,” Warkentin said.
“We’ve partnered with Trixstar to come up with the best line-up that we could to appeal to a wide range of people,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Walk Off the Earth and Lil Jon. He’s a real character,” he said.
Bucking and Barrels returns for rodeo fans as well.
“I’ve worked with all of these artists before, ” said Brennan McFaul of Trixstar promotions.
“I’ve worked with the Arkells before when they were playing small clubs and now they’re performing big festivals,” McFaul said.
Warkentin noted there will be additional security possibly including bag searches and metal detectors.
“That’s not in response to any particular event here. But things have happened at other festival,” Warkentin said.
One Act Play Festival
Playgoers of Lethbridge featured two big nights of mostly original drama at the Chinook Regional One Act Play Festival, March 29 and 30. I missed Day Two which featured eventual winner Playgoers of Lethbridge’s submission of Edward Albee’s Zoo story, directed by first time director Mary-Lynn Muhly and performed by Cole Fetting and Josh Hammerstedt which took home best play and moves on the the provincial One Act Play competition in High River in May. But Day 1 featured all of the original scripts, which were well done and drew great praise from adjudicator Richard O’ Brien.
O’Brien really was taken by the first play, the epic “At the Mercy of the Waves,” written by Jordy Wiens, about two homeless people fearing Armageddon, surrounded by an assortment of trash and being driven crazy by the sound of the waves.
Brent Clark won best male actor for his performance of Perry, a homeless man, who makes a tinfoil hat and draws the awe of his friend Myra, played by Quinn Larder, who was charming in his innocence, trying to bond with Perry and who can’t figure out how to make a hat of his own. The script won best original script, which was accepted by director Tahnia Getson
“Falling Through Time,” an original script written by Tracy Wyman, who also won best female actor, joined by Jocelyn Steinborn and Haley Gray, was three poignant monologues by three different women remembering harvest time, family members, tea time, photographs and memories of them both.
The third play was amazing. Kayla Turnbull penned a film noir-styled script about a hit woman, Constance, played by Matya Mikuliak and her serial killer minion Sal, Jesse Thibert and his new girlfriend Brea, played by Mariah Jakob, who slowly becomes more obsessed with Constance and increasingly jealous of Sal and Constance’s relationship.
Reviews
Adyn Townes at the Slice
Adyn Townes had a good crowd out on a Wednesday night, April 3 at The Slice, for a night of heartfealt singer songwriter and folk music.
I missed Tyson Ray Borsboom and Poor Nameless Boy (Joel Henderson)’s opening sets, but caught most of Townes. It has a been a few years, a name change and a musical style change since Townes, a.k.a. Andy Brown played Lethbridge.
He sang in a pealing tenor voice reminiscent of the likes of Donovan Woods, Dan Mangan and even Paul Simon in place. He and lead guitarist Bruce Rooney, played an upbeat set without a lot of mid song banter.
Rooney had a beautiful feel on his instrument, playing perfectly tasteful solos,
They ended with a pretty cover of Bruce Springsteen‘s “ I’m On Fire,” as Townes noted “I hate it when people ask me to sing when I’m at a concert, so sing if you want to, or not. You do you.”
Sam Weber at the Owl
Sam Weber (not the same Sam Weber from the Weber Brothers Band) and his band returned to The Owl Acoustic lounge, Saturday, March 30 for an upbeat set of groovy folk rock.
The North Saanich, B.C.-based Weber brought his hot trio, bassist Tyler Chester and drummer Don Heffington to rock the place while seated and while singing superb vocal harmonies.
He played a bit a of country music and added some subtle slide guitar throughout. He switched to acoustic guitar then invited Evan Uschenko to add some extra electric guitar soloing and ambient sounds.
Those songs reminded me of Danny Michel with the more exotic feel of Tri Continental.
Weber noted he was excited to get warmed up for a big 20 date tour including a couple of American stops in Montana with the Lethbridge show.
“I Know” was a highlight.
Unfortunately I missed most of Danny Vacon’s opening set, but he was winding up with a big, soulful number before turning the stage over to Weber.
I only caught the end of an ailing Keith Woodrow’s show at the Slice, Saturday, March 30.
About 15 people were left by the time I arrived.
He played a special mini set as an encore including some high energy blues rock music including ‘Going up To the country”and “I Feel So Good” and “Crossroads.”
TJ Waltho’s keyboard complemented Woodrow‘s tasteful guitar solos.
Mandible Klaw at the old firehall
The punks were out in force in the basement of the Old Firehall, Friday, March 29for a hot sweaty, exuberant set of punk and metal.
I missed Medicine Hat’s Western Death, Total Wolf and FaceCut, but caught an intense set fromCalgary’s Mandible Klaw. They played a ferocious, energetic set of metal tinged punk with a whole lot of energy.
There was a wall of guitar and bass as their frontman leaped into the audience and off them and back on stage.
They had a massive attack,lots of volume and even added a solid cover of the Angry Samoans’ “Inside My Brain,” for emphasis and instant punk credibility. Calgary’s Motherf——s were next, but as Mandible Klaw, took out my leg during one of his leaps and bounds off the audience, had to give them a miss.
Major Love at the Owl
For something a lot more melodic, the always captivating Colleen Brown and her band Major Love, featuring several members of Scenic Route To Alaska, returned to the Owl acoustic lounge in front of a good sized crowd March 29.
They played a beautiful set of alternative rock, a touch of indie rock and all powered by the stunning semi-operatic voice of Colleen Brown. Brown beamed throughout her set of appealing indie rock. She played most of their new self titled CD and added a few brand new, more political numbers.
Brown played electric guitar and also added extra keyboards, sometimes simultaneously.
“I’m Going to Fly,” was a major Major Love highlight as was a new song “Living the Dream” which had more a of a rougher garage rock feel and featured gang vocals from the band.

April 10
Beaches — Open Mic
Theoretically Brewing — Blessed, Cosmo Duff and Bummer Club Video Release $10 7 p.m.
April 11
Slice — open Mic
Good Times — Comedy Open mic
Zoo — Thursday Thursdays open mic
Geomatic Attic — Whitney Rose with Shaela Miller $35, $40 8 p.m.
Club Didi — High School House eParty
April 12
Average Joe’s — Dueling Pianos with Cal Toth
The Slice — Charlie Jacobson
Watertower Grill — Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few
Casa — Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra Extra C Russian Gems
Casa — Lethbridge Folk Club Open mic
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Field Guide Tyson Ray Borsboom, Kevin Giron
Good Times — Todd Ness 6:30 p.m. 9:30 p.m. $10
April 13
The Slice — Feel Good Jacket with Orbit the Fox and Dead Levee
Stoketown — brunch Concert Series with Kavanagh and Hepher 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Geomatic Attic — Altameda with the Silkstones 8 p.m. $30, $35
Watertower Grill — Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few
Southminster United Church — Cancer Blast
Empress Theatre — David Francey
Yates Theatre — Lethbridge Music and Speech Arts Festival Best of Show Showcase 2:30 p.m. $5
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Ashley Hundred with Micah Erenberg
April 14
Casa — Ukulele jam
April 15
Owl Acoustic lounge- open mic
Enmax Centre — Breaking Benjamin with the Wild, Asking Alexandria and Diamante cancelled
April 16
Yates Memorial Theatre — Old Favourites 7 for Nord Bridge Centre, $35
Owl Acoustic Lounge — provincial election party?
April 17
Slice — Dead Asylum with Chernoff and Revanchist
Beaches — Open Mic
Yates Memorial Theatre — Old Favourites 7 for Nord Bridge Centre, $35
April 18
Average Joe’s — Rotarians with a Microphone:Stand-Up Comedy night
Slice — Bilie Zizi
Slice — open Mic
Good Times — Comedy Open mic
Zoo — Thursday Thursdays open mic
Yates Memorial Theatre — Old Favourites 7 for Nord Bridge Centre, $35
April 19
Club Lime — Stage Fright the Def leppard Experience and Live Wire the Motley Crüe Experience $15, 8 p.m.
The Slice — Ace of Wands with Orchard Makiisma, J Blissette
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Shiverettes with Mombod and Wares by donation

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