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Perpetrators unleash perpetration in Lethbridge

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A brand new line up of Winnipeg blues rockers the Perpetrators  played an outstanding sold out show, Jason Nowicki of the Perpetrators had the crowd hopping. Photo By Richard AmeryApril 30 at the Slice with David Newberry and Treeline with special guest Sean Brewer.
I arrived in the middle of Newberry’s set. He was playing some upbeat folk rock with a little bit of lap steel guitar from guitarist Jason Lamb. The set included some familiar tracks from his new CD ‘When We Learn The Things We Need To Learn.’
Treeline have perfected the alt country sound they have been working on. They kept the audience on their feet with their upbeat country fried folk roots. Sean Brewer from Sean Brewer and the Switchmen added some extra lead guitar and some banjo solos.
 The Perpetrators, who always seem to have a new lineup every time they come to Lethbridge, worked up a head of steam early as they launched into most of their last studio album ‘Tow Truck.’
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 May 2010 11:24 ) Read more...

Wiseman a hilarious wise man on stage

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Bob Wiseman may come across as an odd duck if you go to one of his shows, but he knows exactly what he is doing. The proof was in  some impressive classical piano playiBob Wiseman singing with himself on screen. Photo by Richard Ameryng ending his May 4 show at the Slice, the beautiful vocal melodies and some pretty impressive guitar and accordion playing which had approximately 30 people enjoying and laughing throughout.
He’s the first to admit that not everyone, well barely anyone, really gets his sense of humour. 

He even made a  pie chart to prove it, which was part of a very cool multi-media/ musical presentation which included  some of his short films, one starring the Kids In The Hall’s Scott Thompson, one starring Feist, who brought him on an European tour two years ago and one of four different  Bob Wiseman faces singing harmony vocals for one of his songs, not to mention several excerpts  from a play he will be performing at fringe festivals across Canada this summer called ‘Actionable.’ ‘Actionable’  is based on some of the more inspirational moments of his life involving lawyers and music business professionals including being an early member of Blue Rodeo and trying to take advantage of Prince changing his name to a symbol and trying to use the name ‘Prince’  as his own.
He emphasized this and several other of his inspirational moments with a power point slide  stating  1. Just joking, 2. Don’t want to get sued.

But it wasn’t all goofily humourous songs about things like being David Geffen’s cousin and asking for a record deal, or and Andy Kaufmanesque song about record company executives  accompanied by  shadow figures doing sign language for the lyrics.
He also played some politically charged songs  about more serious subject matter like lawyer  Doug Christie who is known for defending  people like James Keegstra and Ernst Zündel and members of the KKK and other far right figures and ‘historical revisionists.’

He began his show with several films form or the Toronto  Animated Image Society which ranged from crude animation  to more complex animation as well as claymation  as well as an underlying theme of death.
“I’m a member of the organization, so I asked them if  they wanted me to bring some of their films  on the road with me. It’s a more fun kind of opening act and they are a lot more professional at it than I am,” Wiseman said after his show.
“It’s more fun than an opening act and it sets the mood for my show,” he continued adding  having films showing also encourages people to be more quiet during his show than if it were just a musician playing.


LOTS of fun at Mammoth Cave Fest 2

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If you were to sum up Mammoth Cave Fest 2 in a word, that word would be ‘Lots.’ As in there was lots of music, lots of local bands , lots of people to see them,  lots of ear bleeding keyboards, lots of dissonance, surprisingly lots of Rickenbacker  guitars, lots of screeching feedback and LOTS of volume more than likely resulting in lots of Oman Ra II were a highlight of Mammoth Cave II. Photo by Richard Ameryhearing loss for those attending.  
Judging by last year’s successful Mammoth Cave Fest, I knew that was going to happen, so I opened the whole shindig for all of four people at noon, with one of my songs called ‘Noise Complaint’ not that it is based on  Henotic, even though they have received several noise complaints over the past year and a half especially when they open the big firehall doors. I thought I played a good set, and I was touched that Leon Barr and Wendy Faith came just to see me.
There were at least 21 local acts on the bill this year, which was impressive. Even more impressive was how much many of the local acts who played last year’s Mammoth Cave Fest and lots who formed after it, have really stepped up their game and Paul Lwton playing in one of his many bands. Photo by Richard Ameryperformances. Love them or loathe them, the Myelin Sheathes have become a punk rock juggernaut judging by their supremely tight set while the MoThe Topless Mongos played an excellent set at Mammoth Cave Fest 2. 
Photo by Richard Ameryby Dicks  retain the spirit and weird humour of the Ramones and even played a garage rock version of the Who’s ‘Magic Bus.’ Fist City had an impressive set of garge punk complete with Evan Van Reekum’s guitar solos as well. Meanwhile Chief Mountain has branched out from their punk/ surf rock roots into a more stoner rock, psychedelic type of sound.
“This is the best show I have ever been a part of  in Lethbridge,” enthused organizer Paul Lawton, who was also playing in no less that five bands on the Lethbridge bill.
“Everyone  had fun, everyone got paid and everyone raged. I’m running on pure adrenaline. This is what I do,” said the harried looking Lawton.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 May 2010 18:02 ) Read more...

Couple cool shows this week

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 Lethbridge already feels the hit from losing a major venue like Henotic, but there are still a couple really cool shows tShawna Romolliwa Band play the Slice, May 7. Photo by Richard 
Ameryhis week.
There is no open mic at the Slice tonight as former Blue Rodeo keyboardist and all round interesting character Bob Wiseman is in town to rock the joint. Wiseman is a composer, musician, film maker and actor who has recorded with many groups including the Bare Naked Ladies, Ron Sexsmith and of course, Blue Rodeo. He has performed live with The Wallflowers, Feist and Wilco. HIs multi-media show  includes comedy, music and a lot of laughs. Tickets cost $10.
The Slice is hosting a jazz jam with David Renter on Wednesday as well.
 The Geomatic Attic winds up their season with Steve Coffee and the Lokels returning, May 7. The show begins at 8 p.m.
 The Lethbridge Folk Club also winds down their season with Phyllis Sinclair on April 8. Cathy Hawley is opening the show which begins at 8 p.m.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 May 2010 12:59 ) Read more...

Madison Violet celebrating a successful year

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It’s been 10 years on the road, but  all of the hard work is starting to pay off for Toronto based folk duo Madison Violet, who play the Slice with Ottawa roots rock band the John Henrys, May 6.
This year the girls, Lisa MacIsaac and Brenley MacEachern  not only received a Juno nomination for their latest CD ‘No Fool For Trying,’ (which they lost to the Good Lovelies) but won the John Lennon Songwriting competition for the CDs first trMadison Violet play the Slice with the John Henrys, May 6ack ‘The Ransom.’
“We’d never entered anything  before, but Yoko Ono started the competition so it is reputable and besides, our friend Gordie Sampson, who’s a Billboard chart topper entered it too and if Gordie gets involved with it we thought maybe we should too,” said Lisa MacIsaac.
“We started getting feedback from people about songs like ‘Ransom,’ ‘Small of My Heart’ and ‘Lauralee and decided to enter  ‘Ransom,’” added Brenley MacEachern.
“There’s a lot of heartache and loneliness on this CD, but those were the songs that spoke to us the most. We entered into the contest and  then forgot about it, ” she continued.

“Which is strange because  arts and music is pretty subjective,” MacIsaac added.
“And I just got an e-mail from Jimmy Rankin, lead singer of the Rankin Family, who said  ‘The Ransom’ should be the theme song for all traveling musicians,” she continued adding response to the new CD has been great, receiving accolades all over the world including  reviews in Mojo Magazine, and Penguin Eggs Magazine.
“Mojo Magazine said ‘Small of My Heart’ was the third best song in December, even above Bob Dylan,” MacIsaac enthused.

The Juno nomination was a bit of a shock as they had never entered the competition before.
“There’s a big submission process and we had never submitted before. But the Good Lovelies, who won,  are friends of ours. It was a tough category this year,” MacIsaac said adding they flew in on Friday to play a couple shows and to attend the awards dinner where most of the awards were presented.
“We saw a lot of great performances by musicians we had never heard of. I think we’re going to have to fly back and find my liver,” she laughed.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 May 2010 11:21 ) Read more...
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