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Elliott Brood hitting their stride after 15 years

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After 15 years together, Hamilton/Toronto folk/ alt country trio feel like they’re just hitting their stride. they are looking forward to returning to Lethbridge to play their usual haunt the Slice on a Tuesday, Sept. 25.Elliott Brood retuern to the Slice, Sept. 25. Photo by Richard Amery
“After 15 years or however long we’ve been together I feel we‘re just hitting our stride as a players. not that we didn’t play well before, it’s just that every night we feel like we’re playing in the pocket,” said frontman/banjo player/ guitarist and ukulele player Mark Sasso from a tour stop in Moncton. He is joined by Casey Laforet on guitar, vocals and bass pedals and  Stephen Pitkin playing suitcases, percussion and vocals.

“We‘re going back to Hamilton to play the Supercrawl festival. It’s a huge event. It’s such a great experience for us. It‘s putting Hamilton back on the map. It’s right downtown in the street.  They get like 100,000 ,150,000 people or about 50,000 people a night. It will be our third time playing it and they keep asking us back so  we must be doing something right,” Sasso continued.

“We’ve been playing a lot and touring a lot. We‘re on the east coast now, where we haven’t been for a while,” he observed.
They are still touring in support of their 2017 “Ghost Gardens,” which  is doing well with fans.
“Fans have been listening to the music and buying the album and singing the songs back to us, same as they always do, so we must be doing something right,” Sasso said.
 Part of their success is road testing new songs as they are now and will be doing in Lethbridge.

Last Updated ( Monday, 17 September 2018 17:13 ) Read more...

Bend Sinister play more ’70s style pop on new CD “Foolish Games”

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Kelowna born, Vancouver based  progressive rock band Bend Sinister have simplified into more of a pop sound, though far removed from modern day Top 40 with their eleventh CD “Foolish Games.”Bend sinister return to Lethbridge, Sept. 19. Photo by Lindsey Blane
“It’s not something we meant to do. But it‘s wonderful and amazing old style stuff.  It‘s not modern pop it’s more with ’70s and ’80s pop hooks,” observed frontman/keyboardist Dan Moxon.
“ It’ s more similar to Elton John and early Billy Joel,” added Moxon, who is excited to bring the band back to Lethbridge to play a special ticketed event at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 19.

“ It’s a new venue for us,” so we’re excited to play it,” said frontman/keyboardist Dan Moxon.

 “We’ll be playing a lot of the new album and  some favourites for ‘Animals and ‘Small Fame,” he said.
Guitarist Joseph Blood is excited to be on tour  again.
“We’re enjoying the summer. We’ve played a few festivals and have taken  some time off” Blood continued, adding that will change when they start  really touring on the new album.

He said writing the music for the new CD was a more collaborative process.
“We wanted to write 35 songs for it and ended up with 25,” he said, crediting their new drummer Nick Petrowitz for the more straight ahead  rock and pop sound of “Foolish Games.”
“ A lot of it is due to our new drummer, who has been with us for two years. We all voted  on which ones to  includes and it had  to be unanimous. There’s one I really liked that didn’t make it,” he said.

“ But now, it’s shorter, more polished and cohesive,” he said.
“It has a more pop vibe. We used to have all of these seven and eight minute songs, but cut the songs down to five and six minutes long,” he continued.
“It‘s our eleventh album, so we have a lot of music to choose from,” he said.

Last Updated ( Friday, 14 September 2018 09:46 ) Read more...

The Pack A.D. came back to rock the Slice

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To paraphrase a popular song — “And the Pack Came back the very next day” — try three years.

The Pack A.D. returned to the Slice last week. Photo by Richard Amery
Vancouver  punk/ alternative rock duo the Pack A.D. returned to the Slice , Tuesday, Sept. 4 for an early show.

The duo, drummer / vocalist Maya Miller and guitarist/vocalist Becky Black were in a pretty laid back mood and were a little shocked to have a good sized audience actually standing and listening to them. They played a few Black Sabbath influenced favourites and highlights from their latest CD “Dollhouse” including the title track and the single “Woke Up Weird.”
Though this is supposed to be their last big tour of Canada, they also played a big riffed new song.

Black even stepped away from big riffs and grinding punk power chords to play the odd, succinct guitar solo, while Miller bashed away at her kit adding extra vocals and stage patter.
 they played a really tight set, making a lot of noise for two people.

Tyler Bartfai opening for the Pack A.D. Photo  by Richard Amery
 As a tribute to  their’90s roots, they added a cover of Weezer’s “Buddy Holly.”
They were called back for an encore including “I’m Not Ready to Go.”

I missed opening act Shaun Rawlins, but caught the end of Tyler Bartfai’s opening set of earnest  folk pop along the lines of Dave Matthews and Train with a touch of soul.

Bartfai played some beautiful acoustic guitar and added a touch of exotic , Carribean flavoured music. He ended with a pretty cover of the Zutons/ Amy Winehouse hit “Valerie.”

— by Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 September 2018 14:13 )

Chief Mountain play tight set of punk and surf

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Local punk quartet Chief Mountain are back together and returned with a bang  to the Slice, Sept. 1.

Chief mountain returned to the Slice last week. they will be at the Owl this week as well. Photo by Richard Amery
I missed opening act Yo Bear, but was in time for  the sound check and a hot set from Chief Mountain, who played the best I’ve seen them.

 They played a tight set of garage rock, psychedelic rock and straight ahead punk. They sounded like Forbidden Dimension in places and the Misfits in others.

They channeled Social Distortion in their more punk places. most of their set was originals, but they also added a few obscure covers.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 September 2018 14:04 )

Nature Of tap into Great Lake Swimmers indie folk

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Sherwood Park indie rock band Nature Of visited the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 1.

The multi-instrumental band  played appealing indie rock and folk  which was reminiscent of the Great Lake Swimmers. nature of returned to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 1. Photo by Richard Amery

The frontman started off playing bass but switched to guitar couple of songs in.

There were plenty of layers to the music provided by two guitars , keyboards and background vocals.

I missed opening act Chris Drew.

— by Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 September 2018 13:46 )
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