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Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head keeps frenetic dance groove going

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A couple unusual bands  were playing at Henotic, March 31.Top Less Gay Tekno Party. Photo by Richard Amery
Vancouver based dance/techno band Top Less  Gay Love Tekno Party jumped around in tight spandex and had the crowd howling throughout  their frenetic set of upbeat dance grooves.
Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head lead singer Shaun Libman. Photo by Richard AmeryI was playing the open mic upstairs so I missed most of Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head’s set. They are the latest band to break out of Seattle but had almost finished their set by the time I was finished. They carried on with the energy and the grooves with a more of a rock and roll feel with the help of a couple keyboards and a lot of energy. I would have liked to hear more of them.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 April 2010 14:23 )

Burning Hell display hot humour and ukulele

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The Burning Hell/ Wax Mannequin show at the Slice, March 31 was full of energy and a lot of quirky humour.
 They had a good, strong crowd who were calling out requests for the band to play.Dino Scavo played some accordion with the Burning Hell, March 31. Photo by Richard Amery
A three piece Burning Hell, powered by Mathias Kom’s ukulele and quirky lyrics had the crowd laughing from the beginning  by singing  ‘Tired Of Playing Music’ about the frustrations of being on the road. Kom  sang unusual stream of consciousness lyrics delivered in  a wry baritone, giving them the sound of  the Bloodhound Gang meets the Crash Test Dummies.
The Peterborough based trio followed that up  with some “weird songs” written in the Yukon, as well as a drum solo which drew massive cheers.
A darker song about  his last will and testament drew huge cheers as well. It was several darker, more gothic themed songs which  appealed to the crowd the most.
And my favourite song contained the most unusual metaphors for love I’ve ever heard, comparing love to a marmoset, trailer park and a variety of other things including a hurricane.
I also enjoyed a track called  “The Things People Make.”
They called up Dino Scavo to add some accordion to a couple songs  adding more French cabaret and jazz textures to the music.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 April 2010 14:07 )

Lethbridge gig a southern Albertan homecoming for Leslie Alexander

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B.C based folk musician Leslie Alexander is looking forward to spending a month touring Alberta and B.C. with Jenny Allen, but is almost looking forward to returning home to High River even more.
“I’ll be spending a monthLeslie Alexander and Jenny Allen  will be playing the Slice, April 9. in Alberta. My dad has a sheep farm near High River and it’s lambing season, so when I’m not playing my guitar, I’ll be up to my elbows in sheep goo,” said Leslie Alexander who can’t wait to begin her tour with fellow folk musician Jenny Allen at the Slice, April 9.
The two have known each other through mutual friends and the folk festival and club circuit, but have never toured together.
“I’ve been an admirer of her for years. When I was busking in Calgary, she already was touring and had a record out and I said ‘I want that,’” Alexander continued adding the nucleus of the tour began while Alexander was touring with Jane Siberry and Allen was on the same bill.
“Jane was recording her albums in the recording studio I was living in (in Ashcroft, B.C) and we’ve known each other for mutual friends for years and the next thing I knew I was touring  major American cities with her,” Alexander continued adding this tour is mostly small towns. She has played Lethbridge several times at the Wolf’s Den. Tongue N’ Groove and several other venues.
Her musical style has changed from a more rock influenced sound like Sheryl Crow and Shawn Colvin, then evolved into country once she realized how much  the music of Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn, which her parents were listening to, had sunk in her brain, not to mention how people like Steve Earle, Ryan Adams and Wilco were making country music outside of the realm of Top 40 radio.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 April 2010 15:50 ) Read more...

Open mics and lots of drums this week

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There are several big shows this week.
The biggest shows of the week features Joel Plaskett who will be playing  April 9-10 at the Geomatic Attic.
 Plaskett is a well known maritime rock musician and former Thrush Hermit frontman who will be performing as a duo for these shows. The April 10 show sold out almost immediately so the April 9 one was added. E-mail Mike Spencer at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Tickets are $20 for members, $32.50  for non members or $35 at the door.Calgary Celtic band  Tir Na N’Og plays the Wolf’s Den this week.
The University of Lethbridge Headbanger’s Association ends their first season, April 9 at the university with an all ages show next to the Zoo featuring Datura, Chaos Logic, Enceladus and Pathogen. Tickets are $10. Also for metalheads, classic Canadian metalheads Helix will be performing at Average Joes, April 9.
It’s a busy weekend for the Lethbridge Folk Club as well. They have  their open mic at the Wolf’s Den, on Friday followed by Calgary Celtic band Tir Na N’og the next night.
It is also a good weekend for drummers and anybody interested in making noise by hitting things.
April 10  is the third annual day of percussion at the university, so to mark that there will be drum workshops all day from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. by a variety of  world drum educators and performers.
Also for drummers, Global Drums has two shows at the University Theatre, April 9 and 10 including Mike Michalkow from Yamaha, the Japanese Taiko drums group and a Brazilian Samba with Malcolm and Barbara Lim plus the Steel Drum band which  combines two drum groups. The University Wind Orchestra will join them all on stage at 8 p.m. each night. Tickets are $15 regular, $10 for students/ Seniors. Also at the university this week, the University of Lethbridge Jazz ensemble has a show at the University Theatre, April 7.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 April 2010 10:11 ) Read more...

Mayes breaking hearts and taking names on Easter Monday

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I don’t know what is sexier about Winnipeg singer /songwriter Romi Mayes, the fact that she plays a jet black Gretsch which is almost bigger than she is and matches her long hair she was tossing back and forth, the sexy notes she plays on it or the fact that she can alternately croon and belt out blues with the best of them, or the fact that she cracks jokes on stage or the fact Romi Mayes cracks a joke during one of her songs. Photo by Richard Amerythat she doesn’t think she is sexy at all — or doesn’t seem to.

She played an Easter Monday show at Henotic for approximately 30 people, with her brand new band including  the Perpetrators’ Jason Nowicki, drummer Ryan Voth and bassist David Landreth. Thanks  to them and of course her natural talent, stage presence and charisma, she has finally found her sound. She has experimented with  bluegrass, country, alt-country and the blues before but comes into her own on stage as a blues woman.

She started with my absolute favourite Mayes song ‘ The Other Dame. You have to love a woman who can name drop Kerouac in the middle of one of her lyrics. She had a captivating stage presence. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her as she alternately rocked the house and  crooned, eventually getting some dancers on the floor.
I especially enjoyed one she sent out to all the single guys called ‘Can’t Get You Off My Mind’ as well as her “aggressive sex song.”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 April 2010 09:28 ) Read more...
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