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Moka Only back at the Blarney

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With  over 40 albums to his credit including a  six  ‘Martian Christmas,’ CDs it is never a problem for Vancouver rapper Moka Only to choose a set list for a show, like his Jan. 15  show at the Blarney Stone with Sonreal.
“I change the set nightly. A lot of it is about sensing the mood of the audience,” Moka Only said from Vancouver.
Vancouver rapper Moka Only returns to the Blarney Stone, Jan. 15.“It is made when I walk into the room. Right when I walk into a room, I can  sense the mood of the audience,” he continued adding he doesn’t make a set according to whether the music will get them dancing.
“ There’s enough artists whose goal is to get people dancing. That’s not my thing. I’d rather they stand and listen to the beats,” continued Moka Only. He will be performing with the City Prophets, who he has worked with many times before.
“(Who he tours with) is always different. It’s whatever works and whoever is available,” he said adding other than a few gigs here and there, he is taking a break this year, sort of, by working on a new solo CD and a project with Booty Brown of the Pharcyde.
“ It’s  probably half done. It’s difficult when we live in two different cities. I’m in Vancouver and he’s in Los  Angeles,” he enthused.

Garage and punk is music to the ears of Mammoth Cave Records

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Garage/punk music is an acquired  taste. But it is  music to the ears of Lethbridge musician and owner of Mammoth Cave Records, Paul Lawton.  Mammoth Cave is a  new Lethbridge record label  focusing on garage and punk music which which issued the Alberta Boom cassette back in 2008.
alt“Mammoth Cave was actually inspired by Vancouver bands. They bring along a huge merch table full of bands from all over Vancouver, and  nobody was doing the same thing for the Alberta scene, so we wanted to fill that void,” Lawton said adding the first cassette compilation included bands from Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge.
“We look at bands who are less commercially viable but who are still really good,” he  said adding there are a lot of bands who are big in their own home towns but  don’t travel outside of them very often.
“There’s not a lot of overlap in the  three major markets. So we want to  get that music heard outside of Alberta,”  Lawton continued adding he has  signed distribution deals to get  Mammoth Cave recordings in record stores across  Canada and the United States.
Their first big release was  the recently released Moby Dicks and Sharp Ends 7 inch singles, which like all Mammoth Cave recordings is released on a vinyl record which comes with a digital download of the music.
He gets  the records pressed at United Records in Tennessee. Mammoth Cave Records work with other companies to expand their distribution.
So far, Calgary’s Sharp Ends and Lethbridge acts, The Myelin Sheaths and the Moby Dicks (which feature Lawton on drums and bass respectively) are on Mammoth Cave Records and  they are working with  Edmonton’s the Famines and  Krang. They are also working with Calgary’s Tension Slips and Hunter/Gatherer plus a new Lethbridge band called Fist City  consisting of former members of Endangered Ape and the New Danger Kids plus Amelia Earhart’s Ryan Grieve.
Last Updated ( Monday, 04 April 2011 23:25 ) Read more...

Ringing in the new year

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I brought in the New Year by hitting a handful of the countless New YeNicole Van Zeggelaar sang a few numbers with the Ben Brown Trio. Photo by Richard Ameryar’s Eve parties happening downtown.
First I stopped by the masquerade party at the Mix Lounge at  Ric’s Grill. The Ben Brown Trio were late getting started  due to technical difficulties. But thPaul Kype rocking new years eve. Photo by Richard Ameryey knocked off a set of modern rock including Collective Soul’s ‘Gell’ and ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ by Van Morrison which had a a nattily dressed and masque clad crowd dancinTrevor Panczak at Average Joes. Photo By Richard Ameryg. They brought their friend  up on stage to sing a couple numbers including the Cranberries’ ‘Zombie.’
At the Slice, Paul Kype and Texas Flood had  ‘the  house a rocking’ Stevie Ray Vaughan style. They were hosting a big New Year’s Eve jam which had 50-60 people rocking in the new year to a variety of upbeat classic rock and blues rock including a smoking version of the Allman Brothers’ ‘One Way Out.”
Henotic was packed with dancers on both levels with a  variety of DJs rang in the new year with ear bleeding dance music.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 January 2010 22:27 ) Read more...

Get jazzed this week

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Get jazzed this week with plenty of jazz gigs happening in Lethbridge.  It begins tonight  with Dave Renter hosting a jazz jam at the Slice.
Also on Jan. 7, the Mocha Cabana has a special jazz flavoured  gig with Jessica Heine, Tim Smith and Sarah Cole will be playing  from 6-9 p.m.
 And Heather Blush will be  playing at the Slice, Jan. 7The Myelin Sheaths release their new 7 inch single, Jan. 9.
The Herb Hicks  Jazz Quartet has a  double date at the Mocha Cabana, Jan. 8 and 9.
The Lethbridge Casino is bringing in  Antoine “Baby” Harry who adds a bit of jazz and R and B and a lot of other influences into his blues  music. He’ll be playing  Friday and Saturday.
 For something a little ‘crooked,” a hot new alt country band out of Winnipeg called the Crooked Brothers plays the Slice, Jan. 7 with Three Chord Truth.
Garage rockers will want to be at Henotic, Jan. 9 for the Myelin Sheaths’s  7 Inch record release party.  Several energetic Edmonton bands are on the bill including  the Famines and Wicked Awesomes along with Lethbridge’s Fist City and The Myelin  Sheaths.
The Lethbridge Folk Club starts 2010 this week with the very last tour  of the Highwater Jug Band at the Wolf’s Den, Jan. 9, which features some of Calgary’s  most talented roots musicians including bluesman Tim Williams who is a Lethbridge Folk Club regular. That show starts at 8 p.m.
Henotic also has a pretty cool Sunday  reggae/ R and B gig with Calgary’s Cranston Foundation, Jan. 10.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 January 2010 17:30 )

Blush explores the positive slide of life

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Calgary jazz/blues duo Heather Blush and the Uppercuts hit the Slice, Jan. 7 as part of a quick tour of Alberta and B.C. in support of her  2009 CD, Versus, which is the “antithesis” of her CD from the year before, ‘Vices.”
Heather Blush plays the Slice, Jan. 7“It’s more about the positive side of life,”  the Manitoba born and raised, Calgary based Blush said from the road. The last CD, “Vices” was  based on just that, vices.
adding the new CD is more upbeat, as  one of the songs, ‘Papaya, Papaya’ indicates.
“That’s a strange one. I write really differently, not like most songwriters who have  a particular style or formula,” she said
“It’s something that was really different. I was practicing scatting  vocalizing and  instead of scatting , came up with papaya, papaya. And  thought that was kind  of neat. So I  wrote a song about a girl in a market who didn’t speak the language and meets a guy who doesn’t speak the language either, so that’s how they communicate, and they get married and have 20 kids. Well not really, but it’s a fun song, ” laughed Blush adding one of the new songs , ‘Restless’ is getting radio play on CBC 2 as well as  lots of play on college radio stations across the country. She got into jazz music while studying  classical music as part of her music therapy program at Brandon University.
“I studied classical music then started listening to a lot of jazz vocalization. I just liked the melodies and the feel, ” she said adding she won’t be recording a new CD fora couple of  years as ‘Vice’ and ‘Versa’ which came out  a year apart.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 January 2010 11:50 ) Read more...
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