Saturday, September 13, 2014

Song Of The Day...The Shrine

Today's song of the day is by a band from Los Angeles, California called The Shrine. The song I picked is from their 2012 album Primitive Blast on Tee Pee Records. I was introduced to this band in June of this year when they opened for Earthless in Calgary as part of the Sled Island Festival.

The Shrine - Drinking Man

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sunday, September 7, 2014

the smalls in Edmonton Aug.31st 2014

Last Sunday I attended the Sonic Boom Festival here in Edmonton at Northlands, the three day festival was held in the parking lot of Northlands. Shitty place for a show. Anyways, I won tickets to this festival. Thank god the tickets were free as you will find out why I say this if you continue to read. This was my second time going to this festival, I went in 2011, and it was a disaster. As the way this years was as well for me.

I didn't go to the first two days of the festival as there were no bands that interested me other then The Descendants whom played on Friday, but by the time I got home from work, I just didn't have the time to get there for them. Other then that, the only bands I wanted to see both played on Sunday, and that would be the smalls and Jack White.

So on Sunday, my cousin and I made our way to Northlands. We got there about 4pm in the afternoon, so that we could be sure to catch the smalls show, who were on at 5:15pm.

Once my Cuz and I got there we went through the standard pat down that you always go through when attending a concert. I got through no problems, but my Cuz wasn't so lucky. I was standing inside the gates now wondering where my Cuz was, he was right behind me. After a few minutes he caught up to me. I asked what took him so long when he told me that, he had got stopped by security during the pat down and was told he could not bring in his opened pack of smokes. He told security they were nothing but smokes, smell them if you want, break one in half, all they are, are smokes. He was told you could not bring smokes in unless they were a sealed pack of smokes. You could purchase smokes on the grounds for fourteen dollars for a twenty pack. So, ya, he had his smokes confiscated which only had about four missing from his pack. This is nothing I have ever seen or heard of before at a concert, bizarre, we should have known right there that this night wasn't going to end well.

After that fiasco, My Cuz and I went to the beer garden for a beer, and then to the smoking area for a smoke, we did this a few times before the smalls came on. Why a person couldn't have a smoke just anywhere is beyond me, considering the concert was being held in a huge parking lot, but whatever we followed the rules. So we were back and forth a few times.

It was now closing in on 5pm, time for the smalls reunion show in there hometown of Edmonton. One of the main reasons I was at the show. This show for the smalls was there second gig in thirteen years, having played the X-Fest in Calgary the night before. The crowd was pumped for this reunion show. the smalls were a very popular metal band in western Canada in the nineties. This was going to be my third time seeing the band in concert. It was cool to see how many people were sporting their old smalls t-shirts, most of them looked quite worn, but people were wearing them with pride. the smalls had a huge crowd in front of the stage waiting for the show, with the crowd chanting "smalls", and the anticipation building. While this was going on, so was the ducking of cloth Sonic radio station frisbees being thrown about. What a stupid fucking idea that was for a promotion, lets throw hundreds of frisbees around, ya just what I need a frisbee to smoke me in the head, cloth or not, a damn dumb idea having to watch for flying projectiles being whipped around. A beach ball I can understand, that isn't going to hurt anyone, and is a concert mainstay. Anyways, the smalls hit the stage to huge applause, opening with "My Dear Little Angle" from their last album by the same name that came out in 1999. The band which consists of Mike Caldwell on vocals, Corb Lund on bass, Dug Bevans on the flying v guitar, and rounded out by drummer Terry Johnson. Their set was about an hour long with the band sounding good considering this was only their second gig together. They played songs from all four of their albums. Mike on vocals sounded really good, he definitely has a unique vocal style, but he sounded excellent. There was also a lot of crowd surfing going on during there set. They certainly didn't didn't fit in with the rest of the bill, the only metal band at the three days festival. But there performance was awesome and it was great to see them back together. You can see their whole set by clicking here.

the smalls.

After the smalls we had a few bands to go through before headliner Jack White was on, whom I really wanted to see. So it was back to the beer garden for a cold one, and of course after a beer, a smoke. So my Cuz and I were back and forth between the smoking area and beer garden a few more time. Well about an hour before Jack White was to come on we went to go to have another beer, when I got stopped at the entrance, my Cuz had already walked in. The lady looking after the entrance stopped me and a security guard came over and told me I was not allowed in. I asked why, and was told I was too intoxicated to go back in. I was stunned, as I had a half dozen beers over the course of the last 4 hours, which is nothing for me. I asked what the problem was, I was told my eyes were glassy, ahh ok, whatever. It's a fucking rock n' roll concert, there are bound to be a few glass eyes in the crowd. Maybe next time I will bring popcorn and licorice, NOT! I figured they were going to stop me from entering the beer garden, which is fine, there call, you wanna stop serving me that's fine. I didn't agree, but put up no argument. But then I was asked to follow the security guard, in which I did for a bit. I asked what he wanted and where we were going. He said, I would have to leave the grounds, not just the beer garden. I couldn't believe it, as I was far from drunk. I had caused no problems all afternoon, unlike some of the idiots in the beer garden who were loud and obnoxious, stumbling around, spilling beers and just being a nuisance. But I was fingered, as I stood out in a crowd, having the long hair and shaggy beard and my two piece Canadian tuxedo. Ya, I had been in and out of the beer garden all afternoon, but I certainly was no where near drunk, buzz on sure, but far from drunk, compared to a lot of other people who had been in the beer garden all afternoon. I was asked how much I had to drink, which was half a dozen beers in the course of four hours. Maybe if I had just stayed in the garden, I wouldn't have stood out as being in and out all day. Nonetheless, I was getting kicked out. Unfuckingbelievable, I have never been kicked out of s how in my life, and I have been to hundreds of concerts in my life time, and certainly been a lot more drunk at shows then this. Once I knew I was getting the boot, I was pissed off. Security asked me to follow him, they needed to get some information from me. For what I asked, why the hell do you need info from me. I told the wanna be cop, to go fuck himself, he was getting nothing from me. I then walked out the gates while giving this piece of shit security guard the finger. Not a pleasant experience at all. I figure I was profiled, I didn't blend in with the rest of the crowd, whom you can't tell one hipster from the next. Once I was outside the gates, I texted my Cuz to let him know I had been kicked out. he couldn't believe it either, he was in the beer garden having a cold one. I told him to enjoy the show, and that I was heading home. He said, he wasn't sticking around for the show if I wasn't with him, so that's when he lit up his smoke in the beer garden, finished his beer and met me outside the gates. Good on you Cuz, fuck them, no one said shit to him about smoking in the beer garden, and heel he was leaving anyways. I thought it was nice of Cuz to leave with me, as he certainly didn't have to, he could have stayed and seen Jack White but he didn't. We then went and picked up a dozen beers and went home and had a few more beers.

This Sonic Boom Festival is a fucking joke, been to it twice now and both times were horrible experiences. never again. Why they can't hold a festival like Interstellar Rodeo Fest and Blues Fest in Edmonton and Sled Island Fest in Calgary is beyond me. Both those festivals know how to put on a great festival, where you can walk around with a beer and see the bands, security is good, and just let you have a good time. These beer gardens at festivals are a fucking joke, round you up like a herd of cattle, where you can't see the band, and watch you as you go in and out of the place. Of course your going to see some people multiple times, as I don't want to sit in there and miss the bands. So a lot of people go in and guzzle a beer and then leave and do this all day, ya, you are bound to get drunk doing that. As where at other festivals you can wander around with a drink in your hand, nurse a beer and enjoy the festivities. Not that we were guzzling beers, we only had one each when we were in there, but I have seen it before where you are power drinking so that you don't miss anything. The beer garden idea has to go away, a stupid ass idea. We're adults, treat us like it. So all and all, other then seeing the smalls, this festival sucks fucking ass. Bad times!!!

In other smalls news...
the smalls will be doing a tour of western Canada in October and November with three shows here in Edmonton at the Starlite Room Friday Nov.14th, Saturday the 15th and Sunday the 16th. Check their website here for other dates.

Also the smalls are looking into producing a documentary titled "Forever Is A Long Time" if they can raise 20,000 dollars before October 1st. To donate to this cause checkout their kickstarter campaign by clicking here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Throwback Thursday (Misery Signals)

Posters from the Misery Signals shows I have been too.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Misery Signals in Edmonton Aug.15th 2014

Last Friday I went to the Misery Signals show at the Starlite Room here in Edmonton. This Misery Signals show, my thirteenth time seeing them, was in celebration of the tenth anniversary tour (dubbed Malice X) of their debut album "Of Malice and the Magnum Heart" with all the original members Jesse Zaraska (vocals), Kyle Johnson (bass), Ryan Morgan (guitar), Stu Ross (guitar) and Branden Morgan (drums).

As I got to the venue and waited in the line up to get in. You could feel the energy and excitement for this show. With Jesse and Stu being from the area there were a lot of friends out for the show, and not only that, this American-Canadian hardcore band had a huge following here in Edmonton. On this hot and muggy evening as you got closer to the entrance of the Starlite Room, and anyone who knows the venue, it's a long line up between two building to get in, you could feel the heat and see the steam already coming out of the venue. I was sweating before I even got in. Once in the venue, it was like a sauna, as the place was packed and getting more crowded by the minute. I missed the first band but did catch the second band.

The second band was a band called This Is War from Edmonton. These guys were alright, they were a straight up metal band with two vocalists trading off on vocals throughout there songs.

This Is War.

Next up was band out of Los Angeles called All Hail The Yeti. This band featured drummer Ryan "Junior" Kittlitz whom hails from Edmonton and has played in many bands one of them being Compromise which is the band that was lead by Jesse Zaraska. All Hail The Yeti reminded me of Pantera in their "Great Southern Trendkill" era. So a southern metal feel. They too were alright, but not knowing their songs at all, a lot of it comes across as screaming. I think I may be getting too old for this metalcore stuff. I also found Ryan's drum sound was lost in the mix. You could see he was a flailing away on the drums, but the sound just didn't seem right. All and all, not a bad band.

All Hail The Yeti.

Now it was time for the band everyone was waiting for, the reunion of Misery Signals with all original members. By this time the Starlite Room was filled to capacity and feeling like a fucking sauna. Misery Signals did their debut album "Of Malice and the Magnum Heart" in its entirety. The band sounded tight, especially with this only being their third show of the nine show tour. Jesse Zaraska sounded good on vocals considering it had been sometime since he has done a full show with the band. What did bother me a bit, was that Jesse handed the vocals over to the crowd quite often through out the show. While it was cool that the crowd in front of the stage knew all the words to all the songs, I would have preferred to actually hear Jesse do the singing. Their hour long set was intense but affectionate with Jesse thanking everyone for coming out to the show several times, and the crowd singing Happy Birthday to Jesse at one point with Jesse's birthday being the following day. It's not everyday you go to a hard core show and hear the crowd breakout into the Birthday song. Another really touching part of the show was when Misery Signals did the song "The Day Summer Ended In June" which is the song dedicated to the two members (Jordan Wodehouse and Daniel Langlois) of Jesses's old band Compromise that were lost in a vehicle accident years ago while on tour in Alabama. You could see more then a few people with tears in there eyes during this sing-along, very touching. The band closed out the set with a 7 Angels 7 Plagues song "Silent Deaths, Crowded Lives". For those that might not know 7a7p is how Misery Signals came to be, as Jesse did vocals for the band for a few gigs after the original singer quit. This was after the demise of Compromise of course too. After those 7a7p gigs, the members of that band asked Jesse if he wanted to start a new project which came to be Misery Signals.

Anyways, this was an amazing show, and it was good to run in to some old friends at the show and to talk briefly with Jesse after the show, and thanks for the hug Jesse, your a stand up guy, it's awesome knowing you and being able to call you a friend. Good times!!!

The pictures I took at this show sucked, as the lighting at the venue isn't the best and with the venue being packed it was hard to get a decent photo, and I had a good buzz on.

Misery Signals.

Jesse Zaraska has just put out a book which is well worth looking in to.
My autographed copy of the book.

Some fan footage from the Edmonton show.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Interstellar Rodeo Fest Day 3 July 28th 2014

Day three of Interstellar Rodeo was held on Monday, as Friday's events were cancelled due to shitty weather. While they had to switch up the original line-up that was scheduled for Friday, it was nice to see that the organizers of this festival were able to pull it off. Friday's acts Sinner, Trampled By Turtles and Blackie and The Rodeo Kings weren't able to play Monday. Corb Lund was able to come back for the Monday show and Tom Wilson of Blackie, was able to stick around for Monday's show. The organizers were able to book Great Lake Swimmers and Hey Rosetta! as replacement acts.

Because of work on Monday, I missed openers Great Lake Swimmers. I did get there in time to catch Newfoundland band Hey Rosetta!, this was my second time seeing them play, and again, not really a fan.

Hey Rosetta!.

Next up was Tom Wilson, whom was supposed to play on Friday with his band Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, but because the other members in the band had prior commitments, Tom played solo on Monday. Tom Wilson used to play in 90's band Junkhouse, as well he plays in, as mentioned Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and Lee Harvey Osmond.

I hadn't seen Tom Wilson in concert since his days in Junkhouse. I was looking forward to seeing Blackie, but the solo show he put on this night made up for that. Tom played an hour long set and put on one hell of a show. Playing some old Junkhouse tunes, some Blackie songs and even some Lee Harvey Osmond songs, and, even doing a Lou Reed song. A strong set by a great musician. A great opener for Corb Lund.

Tom Wilson.

Some footage I shot at the show.

Headliner of the night was Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans. Nice to see Corb and the band make it back to Edmonton for the Monday night performance, without them committing to the Monday show, I am thinking the Interstellar would have only been a two day event. But Corb made it back after doing a show in Montana the night before.

The city of Edmonton even declared Monday July 28th Corb Lund day. This was my tenth time seeing Corb Lund in concert, and yet again another awesome show put on by Corb and his band. They had a great turnout for the show, considering it was a Monday night, but the weather was beautiful and who wouldn't wanna see Corb Lund play an outdoor show in his old hometown. Corb Lund is currently pushing his newest album called "Counterfeit Blues" which was recorded in Memphis, Tennessee at the famous Sun Studios. It a lot like a best of album, with him and his band recording live from the floor and mostly tunes from his albums "Five Dollar Bill" and "Hair In My Eyes Like A Highland Steer". At the show on this night though, he played tunes from almost all his album's, including some old ones from Modern Pain, even doing a Stompin' Tom cover of The Hockey Song. A great show. And it was really cool to run into a few old friends at the show, made it even more special. Good times!!!

A big shout out has to go to the organizers of this awesome festival for pulling off the Monday show, and to Corb Lund for going out of his way to play the make-up show. Keep up the good work Six Shooter Records.

Corb Lund and The Hurtin' Albertans.

T-shirt front.

T-shirt back.