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Life's not a drag for Rock Band stars

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The Main Drag

 If you have to work for a living it might as well be making video games like Rock Band for Harmonix.

 That’s life for the Main Drag, a Cambridge  based band which is making their first visit to Western Canada at Henotic, June 26. Their song “A Jagged Gorgeous Winter” is one of the songs featured in the latest Rock Band video game, though its appearance has nothing to do with the band’s employment at its parent company Harmonix.

“They put out a call for music and they usually use people they know. So we threw our songs into the pot. We’re all in different departments there,” said  drummer John Drake who works in the public relations department of Harmonix.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 June 2009 20:19 ) Read more...

Default back to rock

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Default plays the Blarney Stone, June 26.

It’s been a long and sometimes frustrating two years for Default, but they are looking forward to releasing their first CD on a major label in September. Their fourth full length CD will be released in on EMI. They are playing a handful of shows on weekends throughout the summer, including one at the Blarney Stone, June 26.

“We recorded it two years ago but our record label went bankrupt,” said Dallas Smith, lead singer of the Vancouver-based band, which formed in 1999. They have recorded a plethora of radio friendly alt-rock hits like “Wasting My Time,” “Count On Me,”, “Innocent Man,” “Deny” and “Sick and Tired.”

“It (the new CD) is pretty diverse. It has the ballads and the rock songs. We didn’t really change our sound, we just spent a lot more time on songwriting,” Smith said adding they have added seven of the new songs to their current set lists.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 June 2009 20:15 ) Read more...

Myelin Sheaths score singles deal

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Cassandra Ward of the Myelin Sheaths
Lethbridge science-punk band the Myelin Sheaths have scored a seven-inch singles deal with Chicago record company, HoZac Records. While the official definition of a  myelin sheath is “the insulating envelope of myelin that surrounds the core
 of a nerve fiber or axon and that facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses, formed from the cell membrane of the Schwann cell in the peripheral nervous system and from oligodendroglia cells or medullary sheath,”  guitarist /singer Cassandra Ward fondly described the band with her own definition.
“ It’s a joke that’s gone too far and yet not far enough,” she laughed. She , bassist Martine Menard, guitarist Joel Butler and drummer Paul Lawton formed the band earlier this year with the goal of performing at Sled Island music festival in Calgary, June 25-27. Done and done.
“It’s weird. It just doesn’t seem real” Ward said of the singles deal, which will most likely feature crowd favourite “ the Mental Twist” on the A-Side of the record, which will probably be released in the fall.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 June 2009 23:20 ) Read more...

Get the jazz this weekend

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Lethbridge saxophonist Dave Renter is pumped about a mini-jazz festival taking place at the Slice, June 19-20 featuring his new band, The Contemporary Jazz Works Orchestra and the Dave Renter Quartet with Joel Miller the next day.
“For me, I’ve always wanted to see something happening here and the timing was great,” Renter said, noting opportunity came a knocking in the form of an e-mail from Medicine Hat  Jazz Festival organizer Lyle Rebbeck.
In addition to the local shows, Montreal saxophonist Joel Miller’s quartet will also be putting on a workshop at the University of Lethbridge that Saturday afternoon from 1-3 p.m. The Saturday evening show will cost $15.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 June 2009 23:08 ) Read more...

Get jazzed for June 15-21

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There are some really cool events happening this week.

If you missed Amy Bronson’s debut gig back home at Henotic last week, don’t miss her at the Slice on June 18. She  has a quirky lyrics and musical chops to die for.

As well,  there are a few fantastic jazz shows happening this week. Herb Hicks is playing the Mocha Cabana this weekend and Dave Renter has a couple of shows in Lethbridge, which are affiliated with the Medicine Hat Jazz Festival. He will be debuting the Contemporary Works Jazz Orchestra, June 19 at the Slice and will be playing the next day with the Dave Renter Quartet where he will be opening for Montreal saxophonist Joel Miller’s quartet.

On the other hand, if you like rap music, DJ Booda  is bringing back Choclair, who will be performing at Henotic with JD Era and Mike Moves as well as an MC battle between L Rev and Urban Voyce.

And don’t forget the Sled Island Music Festival preview at Henotic where several Lethbridge bands (Endangered Ape, the Myelin Sheaths, the Square Waves, the New Danger Kids and the Moby Dicks) will be giving a preview of their Sled Island Music Festival performances, June 20 at Henotic.

The Duke of Wellington on the west side has long been a favourite hangout for university students, so they are going to give live music a try on Wednesday (June 17) where several prominent  musicians will be playing acoustic sets. Look for Aaron Trozzo and Jeff Orriss of Lustre Creame as well as Tyson Wiebe of Planet Telex in addition to Bethany Swanson.

Blues at the Bow begins their season with Russian bluesman Arsen Shomakhov on June 20. And if your daddy is a punk, take him to  see revamped  Canadian punks SNFU at playing Bully’s Entertainment Centre for Father’s Day, June 21. Tickets cost $15 and are available through Amp All Productions (403) 327-7362.

Last, but not least, don’t forget  open mics this week. Planet Telex is hosting Tuesday’s open mic at the Slice as well, there is an open mic  along with the Most Vocal Poets’ Dwayne Morgan at Henotic the next day.

—Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 June 2009 22:08 )
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