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Rae Kwon brings the spirit of the Wu Tang Clan

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Rae Kwon performed to an enthusiastic crowd at the Blarney Stone, Jan. 30. Photo by Richard AmeryLethbridge’s rap community were out  at the Blarney Stone to see New York rapper Corey Wood , best known as Rae Kwon of the Wu Tang Clan, who took the stage just after Rae Kwon and some of his peeps at the Blarney Stone, Jan. 30. Photo by Richard Amerymidnight, Jan. 30.

I expected more to be out to see a show this big, but everyone was clustered in front of the stage as Rae Kwon and a few of his friends paced like panthers all around the stage while a couple  DJs blasted hip hop beats at ear bleeding levels, which drowned out most of  Rae Kwon’s rap.

They paced all over the stage and growled out the the crowd to shout along.

Rae Kwon dedicated his set to “the lost soldiers of Haiti,” and dedicated a couple songs older songs from 1996 to his friend and Wu Tang Clan compadre Ol Dirty Bastard, who passed away in 2004.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 February 2010 14:45 )

Plaid Tongued Devils back

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Calgary klezmaniacs the Plaid Tongued Devils make their debut at Henotic, Dec. 5
 They were to play in December, but couldn’t make it  due to a blizzard.
Plaid Tongued Devils“We got caught in the great blizzard of ought nine,” said Taber born  Plaid Tongued Devils frontman Ty Semaka, who is looking forward to playing Lethbridge for the first time in a year.
“We’re bringing both violinists. They always add a little extra to the show. For most of the show they play together and they’ll play solos,” Semaka continued adding they will also be playing a couple new songs the group has written over the past six months.
“They are really quite different. One of them is in a Balkan key and is quite complex. Another one sounds like Leonard Cohen at a Bar Mitzvah. Another one is  is a waltz in a minor key, of course pretty much all of our songs are in minor keys.”
The  Plaid Tongued Devils are looking forward to returning to lethbridge.
“I grew up in Taber, so I know that city. We always get a really good crowd there,” he said.
The show begins at 9 p.m., Feb. 5 with Brenna Lowrie opening it. Tickets cost $10.
 — By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Singing for kidney patients

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A couple of local singers are getting together to raise money for southern Albertans with kidney problems.'
 Erica HuntNew West Theatre veterans Nicole Higgenson and Jordana Kohn will be performing at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Feb. 5-6  during the third annual ‘Just Cuz’ benefit. Erica Hunt, Scott Carpenter, Jessica Ens and Mary-Ann Boorsma are also going to take the stage for a couple numbers.
“This has been  a great fundraiser. These girls do so much work to put it together,” said Sheila Fazio, regional fundraising coordinator of Southern Alberta branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada, adding it has raised approximately $10,000 during each of the past two years of the event.
“ There is definitely a lot of musical range. The girls will be performing solos and they’ve asked some of their friends, so there will be group numbers too.”
 There is a mix and mingle at 7 p.m. including a dessert , wine, beer table and a silent auction. The event begins at 8 p.m.
“It is a total variety show from classical to contemporary music,” Fazio said adding all of the money raised stays in Southern Alberta to help people with kidney problems pay for travel expenses and treatment.
Tickets cost $25 in advance from the ticket centre (403-329-7328). Though sales are slow now, the event sold out last year.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor
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Geoff Berner among cool shows this week

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It is klezmer week at Henotic, as they are bringing in not only the Geoff Berner trio, Feb. 4 but on Feb. 5 are welcoming Calgary’s Plaid Tongued Devils, who are rescheduling a December visit which was canceled because of a blizzard.
 Living luca frontwoman Bridgette Yarwood played laid back jazz and pop at the Mocha Cabana, Jan. 29. Both are going to be high energy shows. Especially Berner’s politically charged and humour filled performance which also features Rae Spoon.
 L.A Beat  gave away a pair of tickets to Berner’s show, to Jana McKenzie who was the first person to e-mail the answer to the question “Where is Geoff Berner from?” to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Geoff is from Vancouver. He also  once ran for the Rhino party and the Green party. Also at Henotic the same night, the Living Luca will be performing. The Living Luca are a revamped version of local hard rock band/ classic rock riff heavy inspired band NSR fronted by Bridgette Yarwood.
Acclaimed roots players Dan Mangan and Aidan Knight hit the Slice on Feb. 4. Tickets are $15 or $12 in advance. Mangan’s CD  “Nice, Nice, Very Nice” hit number one on iTunes’ roots chart and #7 on Earshot! (college and Co-Op radio) chart. And Mike Grabow is back from Mexico for a while. He’ll be playing a Feb. 6 gig at Mood with the Ben Brown Trio.
The Slice has a couple excellent blues gigs, Feb. 6 with Darryl Düus and Papa King. Admission is five dollars. And Paul Kype and Texas Flood host a blues jam, Feb. 9.
The Lethbridge Folk club has an excellent, laid back blues gig, Feb. 6.
Lester Quitzau, who was last here with Tricontinental, will be playing with bassist Farley Scott.
Also don’t forget about an excellent fundraiser for the Kidney Foundation of Canada featuring New West Theatre veterans and fantastic singers Nicole Higgenson and Jordana Kohn and some special guests. (see related article in music beat) It takes place at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Feb. 5 and 6. There will be a silent auctions and refreshments. Tickets cost $25. As always, there are a plethora of open mics this week. David Renter hosts a jazz jam at the Slice tonight, Murray Nelson hosts Henotic’s open mic on Wednesday, Greg Gomola and Paul Kype and friends host Beaches open mic on Thursday and Jon Vornbrock is hosting a brand new open mic at the Sandman Inn on Sunday, Jan. 7. So check them out.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 February 2010 10:14 )

Quitzau to play mellow blues

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 Edmonton born/ Gulf Island based bluesman Lester Quitzau is looking forward to playing a laid back blues/folk gig at  the Lethbridge Folk Club, Feb. 6.
Lester Quitzau. Photo by Jason StangHe will be playing with acoustic bassist Farley Scott and several different guitars.
“I’ll be playing  some acoustic, some electric, some dobro and some electric slide,” Quitzau said from a tour stop in Red Deer. He is touring in support of  his latest CD “ The Same Light.”
“Response has been good. It’s got lots of good reviews. It’s definitely very mellow and peaceful, but it reflects where I’m at in my life. It grows on you,” he said noting most of the show will consist of material off the new CD.
“Then we’ll be digging into some older material and a few covers and traditional material. It’s folk, blues and rock with a different approach to all of them,” he continued adding there is  a lot of improvising and interplay between the musicians on stage.
“We let the music take us where it wants to,” Quitzau continued.
Quitzau was last in Lethbridge last  year with Tricontinental (Madagascar Slim and Bill Bourne).
“Playing with Tricontinental is different  because we all have such different influences. We all bring a few songs to the plate and we all play on each others’ songs. But in solo shows I have a bit more freedom to be myself while Tricontinental is  more of a collaboration,” he said adding he grew up on British blues influenced rock and roll which attracted him to blues music.
“Being in Tricontinental has been a  huge catalyst to opening up my influences in regards to the possibilities of world music, but I listen to everything,” he said  noting playing with Tricontinental has added a new dimension to his own songwriting.
“Quite a bit actually. Madagascar Slim’s African music and Bill’s material is all really well structured and influential and the vocal harmonies has definitely made me better. When you surround yourself with geniuses, it has its effect.”
He is also helped record Moore’s Western Canadian Music Award nominated CD “Oh My!” with Vancouver based singer/songwriter Mae Moore.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 February 2010 14:41 ) Read more...
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