This week is all about the ladies and a little bit of rock and roll for Easter weekend.
But first, New West Theatre veterans Jeff Carlson, Greg Paskuski, Scott Carpenter, Jordana Kohn, Arlene Bedster, Andre Royer, Kelly Roberts and Erica Hunt perform their annual ’50s, ’60s and ’70s music comedy revue fundraiser for the NordBridge Seniors Centre during “Old Favourites 7” at the Yates Theatre, April 16-18. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35.
The Slice starts things off heavy on a Wednesday with Vancouver hard rock band/thrash/death metal band Dead Asylum plus local bands Chernoff and Revanchist. The show begins at 9 p.m. Admission is $10.
Then it is all about ladies who rock.
Edmonton folk/R and B songwriter Billie Zizi returns to the Slice, April 18 with her power trio.
It will indeed be a Good Friday with several shows competing for that holiday dollar. Toronto indie rock band Ace of Wands plays the Slice with country band the Orchard and punk band J Blissette and dark folk band Makiisma.
A little further down the line, the Slice has another big hard rock metal show, Wednesday, April 24 featuring the Decibel Worship tour featuring Vancouver bands Heron and Bort, Calgary doom metal band Monolith and the Rainbow Patrol. Admission is $10.
Down the road at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, April 19, FLIPfest presents Calgary punk band the Shiverettes, who are touring in support of their new CD, “Real Shrill Bitches.” They will be joined by Mombod and Wares. Admission is by donation.
If you want to relive the ’80s, there’s a couple of excellent tribute acts April 19 at Club Lime — Live Wire: the Motley Crüe Experience and and the debut of Stage Fright: The Def Leppard Experience featuring Kitty Chevelle. The show begins at 9 p.m. There is a $15 cover charge.
And Honker’s Pub is closed for Good Friday, so they are moving their usual Friday open mic to Thursday, April 18 with host Paul Kype. They are open again on Saturday, April 20 for one of several 4/20 parties happening around the city.
The Trippy Hippys host the afternoon open mic and 4-20 party at Honker’s Pub.
The Slice is going hip hop for their 4-20 party with the DJ Restrickted’s Rated R tour 420 mashup featuring live hip-hop performances by The Psychonauts, JPB, HayZe, Tokey & Kid Killit, xRGx & Cliche and DJ Disko, plus host F-Bomb and headliner DJ Restrickted who spins hip hop, trap, dubstep, future bass and more. It will be hosted by Hosted by F-Bomb. Admission is $15.
Or else, bang your head with a punk 4-20 party at the Smokehouse featuring Edmonton punk band Reifer Madness and local bands Sessions and the Hockey Moms. Admission is $10.
For the psychedelic side of 4-20, the Owl Acoustic Lounge features Saskatchewan psychedelic rock bands Shirley and the Pyramids from Saskatoon and Regina’s Snake River, plus local band Ghost Woman playing Saturday, April 20. Admission is by donation.
That will cap off a very busy day at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, as Lethbridge Girls Rock camp family jam returns at 2 p.m., followed by a matinee performance by Jess Tollestrup and Thumbtack performing at 4 p.m.
The Owl is busy all week long as Hamilton funnyman B.A. Johnston returns on Tuesday, April 23 in support of his brand new CD “The Skid Is Hot Tonight.” J Blissette is also on the bill. Admission is by donation.
Last, but not least, Winnipeg country musician Sean Burns returns to Casino Lethbridge for the weekend as well.
It is also another good week for comedy with Rotarians with a Microphone returning to Average Joe’s, April 18, courtesy of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge Mosaic Club. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at a the door for a whole lot of standup comedy beginning at 8 p.m. Good Times features their amateur night on Thursday as well.
And Good Times features the final roast battle of the season, April 19 with three comics from Red Deer, three Lethbridge comics and two Calgary comics including reigning champion Bryan Moxon performing. The show begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
Edmonton musician Billie Zizi and her partner Ryan Funk return to Lethbridge to play a full show during the Slice’s Thursday jam night, April 18.
“(Bassist) Ryan’s been playing with me for about two years and Jesse (Miller, drummer) came on board about a year ago,” said Zizi, boarding a ferry to Gabriola Island. They have been enjoying touring B.C. for a few weeks before heading back to Alberta.
“It’s beautiful here. It’s green and it was a drab brown in Alberta when we left,” she said.
She has been busy writing new music and living in an artists’ collective with her partner.
“We run a house concert series, art shows and talks about suicide prevention. We’re also helping refugee families. We’ve sponsored and supported five so far,” she said, adding the extra interests haven’t directly inspired the new music.
“I suppose everything you do informs who you are,” she observed, adding she is busy working on demos thanks to receiving a grant.
“We’ll be playing songs from Moon of Honey, which came out in 2016 and I released the other one the year before. The next album will be out in 2020. I’ll start releasing music and videos then,” she said. Her dad, Cam Neufeld, plays violin all over that album, but he isn’t touring with them.
She was last in Lethbridge last April.
“I think we played a tattoo show,” she said.
“But we’re playing the Slice this time. It will be a good room for us. We’ll be able to get a little louder,” she enthused.
“We’ll be playing songs from the albums and a few new songs. We’re playing a full show,” she said, adding she wasn’t sure if the usual jam was happening after.
Calgary’s Shiverettes have completely embraced their identity as a feminist punk band.
The band, including Hayley Muir, vocals; Kaely Cormack, guitar and vocals; Cecilia Schlemm, bass and backup vocals and drummer Steve Richter, play the Owl Acoustic Lounge April 19 for a FLIPfest presentation including Mombod and Wares.
They are officially releasing their second album, “Real Shrill Bitches,” on April 18.
“We played FLIPfest for the first time in 2017 and it’s pretty exciting to be back,” said Cormack.
“We didn’t intend to write another feminist punk album, but there is a lot more to say. This is the first band three of us have been in. Now, we’re having a lot of fun and have got a lot more experience and we’re a lot more confident now,” Cormack said, adding her song “Bumblebee” opens the CD, with a hot guitar riff that sounded like a bumblebee.
“The song doesn’t have anything to do with bumblebees, but we thought it was a good way to start the album. And because we’re singing ‘Are you listening,’” she said, adding there are a lot of feminist issues to explore, so the CD includes songs about sexual assault, abortion, male privilege and incel movement (involuntary celibate).
“We’re inspired the feminist experience,” she said.
“There are a lot of these issues still plaguing us,” she continued, adding it is important to speak up about them.
“There are things that happen a lot and that we want people to think about.
“People tend to be quiet about them but they want to talk about them,” she added.
The Shiverettes are taking the new CD on a quick tour of Alberta and Saskatchewan dates, and will be back home in Calgary in time to play a couple of festivals including East Town Get Down Sled Island in June.
“Then we’re planning a tour out east, but nothing has been finalized yet,” she said.
“It’s been a lot of hard work, finishing the album, but now comes the fun part — touring and playing the songs. It’s taken a while to get to this point,” she enthused.
The Shiverettes CD release party for the new CD is at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, April 19 with Mombod and Wares starting at 9 p.m. Admission is by donation.
Toronto Indie rock/pop band Ace of Wands are looking forward to a fierce show at the Slice in support of their debut CD “Lioness,” April 19.
Lead singer Lee Rose created a couple of lioness masks which appear in two of the three videos they have created for the CD including the title track as well as “10,000 Feet.” Though the idea didn’t happen in time for the first video, “Grown For Good.”
“We had just finished shooting that video, but the mask wasn’t done in time for it but it would have fit,” said Rose, noting the CD deals with some heavy issues about her own battles with anxiety and depression.
“Every song I write is very personal. And every song is very visual, like the videos. We have the song ‘Lioness’ which is about being full of anger that goes along with anxiety and depression and the masks we wear to cover them. A lioness is full of anger and energy, but at the same time, a lioness has a strong nurturing, motherhood quality. The song inspired the imagery. I also made cheetah and cougar masks for the video,” she said.
“ We don’t perform with them, because that’s difficult. But they usually find their way on stage as props,” she continued.
“Though we wore them for our CD release party, but took them off to perform,” she added.
“This music is about my struggles with anxiety and depression. I’ve been in bands for all my adult life. I was in a band with my brother and when that fell apart, I was as going through a period of depression and self reflection,” she said, adding meeting guitarist Anna Mernieks and drummer Jody Brumell inspired her to form a new band after her previous band broke up in 2014.
“I just loved Anna’s energy. She was backing Ron Hawkins on a tour in 2017,” she said adding they recruited popular session drummer Jody Brumell.
“He‘s such a great person and he just bashes his drums, so we’re very loud,” she said.
Rose’s voice is reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan.
“I’ve never heard that before. Usually we get compared a lot to PJ Harvey and Florence and the Machine. I’m also influenced a lot by Elliott Smith, because he writes really pop-sounding songs, but his lyrics are really dark. But we also get compared to the Cranberries a lot,” she said.
The CD came together really fast. They started recording it in January 2017 and released it on Feb. 22 this year.
“I’ve been involved with CDs that took years to record, but this came together really quickly. The energy is still fresh,” she said.
They are named after the Ace of Wands tarot card, suggesting their supernatural feel.
“I’m more influenced by the imagery of the card but not really fortune-telling aspect of it,” she said. “I got a tarot card deck when I was going through a really depressed period and became interested in them. Just because of the questions I was asking. I was interested in them as a means of expressing my feelings.”
Ace of Wands were in Lethbridge at the Slice on Dec. 2 and were excited to come back as soon as possible.
“We didn’t have the CD then. But we met so many amazing people. We met the people from Girls Rock Camp and we met such a supportive group. So we were excited to come back,” she enthused.
“And we wanted to keep our name spinning around in people’s minds,” she said.
She promised and “intense” show.
“I play bass, but it’s a synth bass, so I play bass pedals, but I’m also playing organ, guitar and violin. I’m always getting asked how I’m doing it. It takes a lot of practice, but it is a lot of fun. And I’m stuck behind the bass pedals, so Anna is playing guitar and interacting with the crowd and Jody is just smashing his drums. It’s a very interactive show. We’re a three-piece, but we have a huge sound,“ she said.
Ace of Wands play the Slice, April 19 with Makiisma, J Blissette and Orchard.
Pete isn’t dead or in jail, according to Hamilton funnyman B.A. Johnston, who returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Tuesday, April 23 with J Blissette in support of his new CD “The Skid is Hot Tonight.”
“Pete loves that song,” chuckled Johnston of the first single from the CD, “We’re All Going to Jail (Except Pete, He’s Gonna Die),” which also inspired a frame-by-frame re-creation of Van Halen’s “Jump” video.
“It’s not as good, because they have more money and we‘re older. But we painstakingly re-created every frame, but cut most of it,” he said.
“But it features the guy who does my beats and the guy who does my album artwork, so it is nice to feature them,” he said, adding the song is partially based on a true story.
“Pete took too many magic mushrooms and thought security was chasing him. We lost him for a half hour. And he still thought security was chasing him when we found him, though I don’t think they were,” he said.
It is a followup to his last CD, “Gremlins 3.”
“That was like two years ago. Time flies. I have like 12 CDs out now,” he said, adding they will probably only be playing three songs from the CD.
“I have a lot of ‘hits’ and people want to hear them. I know when I go see Iron Maiden and they mostly play their new album, I don’t really like that,” he said, adding he is always writing.
“It’s a long CD. It’s 12 songs and 42 minutes long. So it’s like a Grateful Dead album,” Johnston chuckled. “And I needed to buy groceries, so I put out this CD,” he said, adding he is always writing.
“That’s what I do, I sit in the closet and write funny songs,” he said, adding there are also a lot of sadder songs about aging.
Johnston is also working on a new television show about his hometown Hamilton called “Ham Jam.”
“It’s about Hamilton. So there’s a bit about steel, about submarine sandwiches. And it’s a city of waterfalls, so I talk about that, too,” he said.
“It’s like a tourist video for Hamilton except it won’t make you want to go there,” Johnson chuckled of the six-episode series available through Bell Vibe.
“I love it. It’s great. But it’s a lot of work,” he said.
B.A. Johnston and J Blissette, are at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Tuesday, April. 23. Admission is by donation.
Whitney Rose at the Attic
Prince Edward Island-raised, Austin, Texas-based Whitney Rose returned to the Geomatic Attic to sing some outlaw/’70s-style country for an intimate audience, Thursday, April 11.
I missed Shaela Miller’s opening set but was just in time for Whitney Rose and her tight band who played an enjoyable set of mid-tempo covers and originals. They began with a pretty version of Don William’s “Tulsa Time,” then drifted into one of her own songs, “Arizona,” as she noted she wasn’t in the mood for much talking and just wanted to play music. That was all right by the enthusiastic crowd who cheered every song and most of the precise guitar solos. Her voice reminded me of Margo Price mixed with Lee Ann Womack and LeAnn Rimes
She noted they had been touring up the West Coast and into Lethbridge en route to Calgary, and promised to play some new songs as well as a few older songs.
Some of the original highlights were “I Don’t Want Half (I Just Want Out)” and “You Don’t Scare Me” from her most recent CD, “Rule 62,” which set the theme of the evening as heartbreak was on Rose’s mind, who sang with her eyes shut, occasionally cracking a smile and moving to dance to her lead guitarist Josh Owen’s solos.
“One thing you don’t know about Josh is that he sings like an angel,” as she stepped back to let him sing Gram Parsons’ “Return of the Grievous Angel.” She harmonized beautifully with him.
A couple of other highlights were the slower “My Boots” from her 2017 CD “South Texas Suite” and more honkytonk rocking country of “The Devil Borrowed My Boots” from 2015’s “Heartbreaker of the Year.”
They also played some sweet covers of Little Feat’s “Willin’” and an exceptional version of Concrete Blonde’s ’90s hit “Joey,” which they turned into a country song.
She introduced a couple of originals, “You’re Going to Get Lonely ” and another, more up-tempo number in the same vein, both of which drew applause from the audience and caused Rose to crack a smile.
“It’s always difficult to play new songs,” she observed.
Windy City Opry at the Slice
CKUA Radio personality Matt Masters showed his substantial musical chops for the April edition of the Windy City Opry, Wednesday, April 10, which drew a good-sized mid-week crowd.
As usual on a Wednesday, I arrived too late for most of the show of up beat honky tonk country from Masters and Emily Triggs, who opened the show with Tyler Allen. But I was in time for an excellent version of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Snake Farm,” which Masters and his lead guitarist Craig McCallum made their own.
They also tackled Ridley Bent’s “Suicidewinder,” with Master noting they’d never played the song together before. They sounded like they had been playing it together for years.
Host Shaela Miller got up and said she had been friends with Masters since meeting him while working at the Tongue N’ Groove, “when I 13, maybe a little older than that.”
Yvette at the Slice
Calgary-based alternative rock/indie rock band Yvette played a solid set of music at the Slice, for about 25 people, Saturday, April 6.
They played a strong set of keyboard-powered original music drawing a lot of inspiration from mid-’70s soft rock and jazz. Thanks to the laidback keyboards, they had a strong Steely Dan and Supertramp feel, plus a whole lot of smooth jazz, but with a whole lot of loud bass.
They have released a new self titled EP and played the single, which featured a cool walking bass line.
Adequate at the Owl
As usual things got a little funky with Adequate at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, April 6, which was packed, as expected. They were playing some original funk and R and B as I arrived with Keenan Pezderic singing in his best falsetto from behind the drums, guitarist Josh Thorlakson was laying down on lead guitar while Scott Mezei was doing triple duty on bass, background vocals, keyboards and was even incorporating a vocoder into the music.
Their set included the usual suspects — vintage R and B and funk popular standards and even Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker.” As a bonus they decided to funk up Quad City DJ’s “Space Jam” theme.
Even I need time away from covering live music, so usually afternoon shows and jam sessions don’t end up getting covered. But sometimes I can sense that something cool is about to happen. So I made a point of going to Honker’s Pub’s always popular Saturday afternoon jam, April 6 when I learned that Chilliwack drummer Jerry Adolphe was in town and would be at the jam. And sure enough he was. Host Paul Kype played a couple solo blues songs on acoustic guitar, welcomed up another musician, then his wife Jenn Kype to sing a beautiful duet of “Shallow” from “A Star is Born.”
And then, after by a quick set of blues rock from most of Driving While Blind, plus some excellent harp, the magic began.
Kype welcomed Adolphe on stage with bassist Shawn Worden who played a couple songs from Paul Kype and Texas Flood’s new CD, “Blues From Rosie,” featuring Adolphe on drums.
Kype noted Adolphe was in town to record a new EP from Jenn Kype, and changed his flight so he could play the jam. So that was special on its own and even more so when the trio really locked in with each other
They began with my favourite track from the CD, “If You Could Read My Mind,” and followed it up with “Outlaw Game.” Worden, who doesn’t usually play with Kype, fit in like he played with him for years.
They added a couple covers including Blind Faith’s “I Can’t Find My Way Home,” from the CD and a beautiful version of Van Morrison’s “Into The Mystic” and added Steve Ray Vaughan’s “Pride and Joy,” to show off some of Kype’s substantial guitar chops.
Rovers in the Round
Songwriters in the round shows are a lot if fun, because you get four different songwriting perspectives. The only problem is you never get to see enough of the people you really want to see — unless they all add to each other’s music, like with Olds/Red Deer guitarist Tyler Allen, Edmonton’s Kimberley MacGregor, and B.C. musicians Nasti Weather and the Brain Porter who were playing as Rovers in the Round at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, April 5.
Tyler Allen plays here with a lot of bands including Boots and the Hoots as well as solo.
This time he was adding twanging Telecaster to everybody’s songs.
He started off the first set with one of his original country songs.
Kimberley MacGregor has a new CD coming out in the next year or so, so was eager to share brand new music, beginning with a slow, mournful number featuring her huge, soulful, bluesy voice.
Allen added some lead guitar while Nasti Weather added a few subtle banjo licks.
Nasti Weather was up next with her banjo and decided to out do MacGregor on the sad song front. She told a few stories about breaking up and plucked banjo, singing a sad jazz-tinged number with Porter bowing his upright bass to make it sound a little more mournful.
He kept up the sad jazz feel on his own song, with Allen adding a little bit of chicken picking on guitar. He turned the set more country on his own.
MacGregor sang another more upbeat, sultry jazz number after that with everyone chipping in.
For her next song, Nasti Weather explored a more exotic sound on her banjo, with Porter bowing more upright bass.
Porter added some bluesy harp while thumping on his bass for his third song of the set.
Kimberley MacGregor picked up the tempo a lot with the quirky and appealing “You Fill My Cup Up With So Much Love.”
Nasti Weather carried on with the more optimistic tone with a song about “finding beauty out of sadness.”
And Brain Porter finished the first set with song, featuring mostly of the lines “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results.”
Slice — Dead Asylum with Chernoff and Revanchist
Beaches — Open Mic
Yates Memorial Theatre– Old Favourites 7 for Nord Bridge Centre, $35
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
Honkers Pub — preEaster open mic with Paul Kype
Club Lime — Stage Fright the Def Leppard Experience and Live Wire the Motley Crüe Experience $15, 8 p.m.
Owl Acoustic lounge — Shiverettes with Mombod and Wares by donation Casino Lethbridge—Sean Burns
Honker’s Pub — open mic/ 420 party with Trippy Hippys
Slice — The orchard,J Blissette, Ace of Wands, makiisma
Slice — 420 mashup DJ Restrickted’s Rated R Tour
Owl Acoustic Lounge — 2 p.m. Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp family jam 4 p.m. matinee with Jess Tollestrup and Thumbtack 9 p.m. 420 party Shirley and the Pyramids, ghost Woman, Snake River
Casino Lethbridge — Sean Burns
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Honker’s Pub — 420 party open mic with the Trippy hippys
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — B.A Johnston wth J Blissette. 9 p.m.
Slice — Decibel Worship Tour with Heron, Bort, Monolith, Rainbow Patrol $10
Beaches — Open Mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Standup Comedy Open mic
Slice — open Mic
Good Times — Comedy Open mic
Zoo — Thursday Thursdays open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Open mic poetry with Teri Petz
Slice — Wise Youngblood with King Bull
Good Times — Vlad Caamano 7 p.m. $25
OwlAcoustic Lounge — Blazed Gringo and the man, Eat Your Vegetables
Club Didi — Drunk Improv
Casino Lethbridge — Zojo Black
Honker’s Pub — open mic with Kelly Klimchuk
Slice — Papa King Blues and boogiemen with T.J Waltho and Steve Keenan 9:30 p.m. $10
Lethbridge College Cave — Lethbridge Folk Club presents Ken Hamm
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Jack Garton and the Demon Squadron, The Dark Wrangler Don Cassell and Dil Jopp
Club Didi Our Homo Highness Lady Gaga
Lethbridge College Cave — Lethbridge Folk Club Ken Hamm
Casino Lethbridge — Zojo Black
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic with Aaron Landry
Good Times — Lori Ferguson