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Sarah Burton coming back to Lethbridge for solo show

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Toronto based singer songwriter Sarah Burton is on the road again in advance of her new upcoming  CD “ Make Your Own Bed” which is officially released on March 17.Sarah Burton returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 She returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 6 to play a show with Windborn after a quick swing through the Northern United States including Pittsburgh and Detroit.

“It was great. People really enjoyed it,” Burton said from Winnipeg, getting ready to begin the Canadian leg of the tour.

“ There were a lot of good people. It was my first time there,” she continued adding most of the people there weren’t familiar with her music
“Some of them had heard it online. Detroit was very receptive,” she observed.

“ This is just a little solo tour I just threw together. I’ll be back with the band in the fall,” she continued adding she quit a job doing “heavy lifting” to hit the road again.
 She has been a busy woman since her last  Lethbridge visit as she also released a CD with a new pop rock project Hot Peach .
“ I hope to tour with that too. it’s a lot of fun,” she said.

She just started a brand new alternative pop project called Thunderette.
 She is also part of an alt country band  the Ole Fashioned.

“ We don’t tour. We just play around Toronto. Everyone in the band is in so many other bands,” she continued.
“ We have a big local following and it is nice to play with them,” she said.
 But for now she is concentrating on the new album “ Make Your Own Bed.”


Punk music dominates busy week

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While last week was dominated by country music, this week is all about punk music.Jon Vornbrock playing with the Void. Photo by Richard Amery

 There are several punk shows happening  this week.
 On Wednesday, Calgary band Citizen Rage, who form the core of Calgary’s Beer Core scene, will be coming to Inferno, March 4 to rock the joint with local bands the Space Wolves, The Scallywags and local metal band Penitentz. There is a $10 cover for the show, which begins at 8 p.m.

 The other big punk show of the week features Vancouver Celtic punks the Real McKenzies’ annual Lethbridge show. They will be playing  Bo Diddly’s, March 6 with Vancouver baseball punk band the Isotopes. Doors for the show open at 8 p.m.. Tickets cost $20 in advance, $25 at the door.
 Also on March 6, local alternative rock trio the Void are holding a fundraising concert at the Slice to  try to reduce the cost of going to Vancouver to record with renown producer Jesse Gander of  Rain City Recorders in a state of the art studio. Calgary rock band Free the Cynics is also on the bill. There will be door prizes, a raffle and Mr. Personal will be hosting the show which is pay what you can beginning at 9 p.m.

While the week’s highlights involve punk  and rock music, there is an exception to every rule.
 So there is something for everybody.
 If you like modern country music, Grande Prairie born, Nashville based band Emerson Drive return to Lethbridge to play the Enmax Centre for the PBR bull riding event. They kick the event off on Thursday, March 5. They are sure to be playing their hits  “Moments,” I Should Be Sleeping” and “ Fall Into Me,” to name a few. Tickets cost between $30-$50 for the show, which begins at 7 p.m.

 If you like Johnny Cash style country,  Big River : the Johnny Cash tribute returns to Average Joes, March 7.

And Nanton/ Vulcan country band Tin and the Toad return to the Slice for a special show, March 7. There is a $10 cover.

For more alternative country and jazz/ pop music, alternative adult  contemporary musician Sarah Burton returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 6 with Windborn. The Owl Acoustic Lounge get a little funky with local  band Adequate who play a little bit of everything and more than just a touch of funk.

 If you like to dance there are a couple options as well. Miami based hip hop star Trina  “ the Baddest Chick” visits Inferno, March 6 wth special guests Mr. Work and  Kay Layton. Tickets cost $30 in advance, $35 at the door.


Real McKenzies real excited about new CD and world tour

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Vancouver celtic punk stalwarts the Real McKenzies believe in good humour and fun is just as important as politics for punk music.

The Real McKenzies return to Lethbridge to rock, March 6. Photo by Richard Amery
 So on their upcoming album “ Rats in the Burlap,” which they recorded with NOFX’s Fat Mike, they not only have  politically charged numbers like “ Who’d a Thought” and “Yes or No” about the Scottish referendum, but also have a tribute to McKenzie’s cat who passed away last year “Bootsy the Haggis-Eating Cat,” not to mention about friends like DOA guitarist David Gregg who passed away last year of a heart attack.

“ I always avoided the things that were bad or turned them into something that was good,” said McKenzie, looking forward to the album release on March 24 and the ensuing world tour which brings them to Bo Diddly’s with the Vancouver based baseball punks the Isotopes, March 6.

 The current lineup of the band is Paul McKenzie: Vocals; Mark "BONE" Boland: Guitar/vocals; Mario Nieva : Guitar, Vocals; Troy Zak: bass/vocals; Jesse Pinner: drums; Matt McNasty: bagpipes/ vocals and Gord Taylor: bagpipes/vocals.

 It can be hard on the health for a musician on the road.
“ We  had to replace Filthy Kurt. He went to the doctor and it was one of those things you’ve got to  stop today if you want to see tomorrow. Last year he played a show with us and he had to stop for 45 minutes. He was panting and sweating. You have to be tough. Not tough like violent, but you have to be able to hit and run. We didn't want to let him go. We said we’ve got  you a replacement,” he said.
 That replacement was guitarist Mario Nieva.
“ He’s a Filipino guy he’s a great guitarist. He’s got some excellent licks, McKenzie enthused.
 You can hear the effect on the crushing lick of  “Who’s a Thought.”

“ That’s Mario and Bolan playing together,” he said adding a lot of the album’s politics and some of the sound came from the band’s plus Fat Mike’s mutual love for pre-punk pioneers the MC5.
They are excited about the world tour  which will take them over to Europe again, though not  McKenzies’ homeland of Scotland.
“ We paid for this new album ourselves to our coffers are pretty low. It costs a lot to  take six guys on tour,” he said.


Citizen Rage maturing with age

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Calgary hardcore punk band Citizen Rage are more mature and a lot more angry since forming out of the ashes of several popular Calgary punk bands including Oh Shit! and BDFM.Citizen Rage visit Lethbridge, March 4. Photo Submitted
“We’ve grown up. We’re more political now. With BDFM we had a lot of songs about drinking and fighting,” said Citizen Rage vocalist Mark Russell. He is a veteran of BDFM along with bassist Froid and drummer  Jason J-Dog. Guitarist Kevin played with the Turretts.

“ We’ve matured. We just started writing together,” Russell said.
While the Citizen Rage are a relatively new band, the members themselves are at the core or Calgary]s Beer Core scene and have been playing in punk bands for many years.

 He noted they are releasing a series of EPs not only because it is more cost effective, but it shows the band growing. It also allows them to combine songs with similar themes on the same CDs.

“ It’s deeper, he said adding the more they write together the more they are inspired by issues like abusive police and politics.
“There have been a lot of police shootings,” he observed.


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L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

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