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Hellbound Hepcats play cool rockabilly

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 Rockabilly bands are always a lot of fun. Montreal’s Hellbound Hepcats were no exception during their Wednesday, April The Hellbound Hepcats at the Slice. Photo by Richard Amery6 show at the Slice.

The Phantom Creeps started with a solid set of crowd favourites powered by Jon Vornbrock’s new Gretsch guitar and Tyler Brownfield’s snarling vocals and stand up bass backed by solid groove from Dean Wilson.

 The Hepcats played a set of more traditional rockabilly music and sounded a lot like Sun Studios era Elvis Presley, with driving stand up bass, rock steady rhythm and some wailing Gretsch guitar licks.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Your favourite holiday is back— record store day

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Collectors and fans of vinyl records and LPs are going to want to know all about this. (Though most likely, many of them already do.)  
Saturday, April 16, is the fourth annual International Record Store Day. This special holiday, celebrated the third Saturday of each April, was founded in 2007. It is a celebration of the unique culture surrounding vinyl, as well as the nearly 1,000 independently owned record stores around the world that satisfy the needs of vinyl collectors. This one day sees record store owners, customers and musicians gathering together to rejoice in commemoration of what is still considered to be the finest sounding medium for appreciating music.
As part of the annual celebration, hundreds of artists make special promotional products and appearances, exclusively for this occasion. Last year's official ambassador who champion this unique occasion was Josh Homme from the Queens of the Stone Age, while this year it is the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne.

All of the stores participating in Record Store Day are real, physical, 'indie' record stores — not those online retailers or corporate mega-chains that sell individual tracks or big, major label Top 40 artists only.
In Lethbridge, there is only one such store — our very own Blueprint Entertainment. As the only store in Southern Alberta that receives and sells the exclusive Record Store Day content for record collectors and vinyl buffs, Blueprint is the place to be on Saturday. Located next to the Red Dog Diner downtown, Blueprint is owned and operated by Mike Molloy.

“I was fortunate enough to born in an era where vinyl was still a go-to source for quality music,” Molloy said.

 “I remember being about eight years old in Calgary, and finding a small record store in the mall near my house. I'd go and hang out with Bob, the owner, and it was like finding the holy grail — it was the be-all and end-all. Bob introduced me to some of the greats, like the Stones and CCR, and those memories have stayed with me throughout the years.”
A big music collector himself, Molloy's passion for independent record shops led him to find outlets like Calgary's Sloth Records and Megatunes, not to mention road trips to Seattle and more. To this day, he has yet to visit a city in which he doesn't stop for a while to seek out the local record store.  

“From a personal level,” Molloy said, “it's all about that idea of the hunt being more important than the find - it's about the enjoyment I get from sifting through piles and stacks of records and CDs, just staring at their covers and jackets, and soaking it all in.”

As the owner of a record store for the past five years, Molloy finds himself in an interesting position — essentially he is a reincarnation of Bob, that store owner who influenced his life so many years ago.

“Unlike some of the big box and mall stores, I can come in to work each day and be turned on to new artists and musicians by other music collectors like myself,” Molloy said.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 April 2011 09:44 ) Read more...

Hashmagandy brings, folk, pop, rock and humour

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Toni Vere is looking forward to returning to Lethbridge with her new band Hashmagandy, April 16 at the Wolf’s Den to play for the Lethbridge Folk Club. The show is a homecoming of sorts for her.Hasmagandy plays the Wolf’s Den, April 16. Photo by Richard Amery

“I used to live in Lethbridge for 20 years, actually the folk club was the first place I ever played right after high school,” said the Calgary based singer/songwriter, on her lunch break from work at Cat Rentals.

Hashmagandy, including lead guitarist/ vocalist Carla Olive and bassist Amy Bishop, came together as a result of  Vere needing musicians for her solo CD.

 They had so much fun recording in 2009, that they decided to form a band, combining the songwriting talents of all three musicians. Drummer Bill Nordrick, who used to play in a Lethbridge band called Straight Clean, will be rounding out the group for the Lethbridge show.

“We were in Coaldale a year ago we had a lot of people who came out, several people who knew me in Lethbridge,” she continued adding they are best known for the song “Girl Next Door,” which tells a partially true story based on her experiences as a lesbian and the very catchy rocker “I’m Gonna Be On Ellen” which should be the new “On The Cover of the Rolling Stone.”

“Well who doesn’t want to be on Ellen? It’s a really fun song. When we started handing out the song, people seemed to like it. It’s a lighthearted way to look at the music world,” she laughed adding the success of “Girl Next Door” came as a  bit of a surprise.

“‘Girl Next Door’ became the first single. It wasn’t my choice. They just started playing it on the Americana internet radio station,” she said.

Last Updated ( Monday, 18 April 2011 14:28 ) Read more...

Mind boggling array of music this week

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I’m running out of descriptive adjectives for how great Lethbridge’s music scene is. As per usual there is a mind boggling array of live acts coming to Lethbridge this week, from big name rap stars to Juno nominees and any combination of them all, internationally know world artists, a lot of local musicians, plus a lot more.

Smokestack Jacks and Penny Fortune celebrate the Last Class Bash at Scores, April 15. Photo by Richard Amery
Actor and renown rapper Ice Cube, who is generally credited with starting gangsta rap, comes to Bully’s, April 16. The show includes special guests:  WC of Westside Connection, Ice Cube’s son Doughboy, Struck and Deezuz. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $45 in advance or $60 VIP tickets which included no line, a pass to the VIP Lounge with a private bar and a VIP laminate. Canadian rapper Classified performs April 15 at the Stone with Kidz In The Hall and The Scalebreakers (Subway and Guy Woods).

On the local front, the Canadian Country Music Week finals at Boss Hogs is worth checking out, April 14 with eight local performers competing for one Lethbridge slot at the Canadian Country Music Weekend, Aug. 12-13 in Fort Macleod. Performers include The Smokin’ Pistols, Jessica Halvorsen, Breanne Urban & Southern Flyer, Charles Shade, Alyssa McQuaid, Karen Romanchuk and Shalisa Leisch.

Scores South rocks the school year to a close with this year’s band wars winners blues rockers Smokestack Jacks and hip hoppers Penny Fortune, April 15.

Leigh Doerksen is also releasing his CD ‘Being Mysterious’ at the Owl, April 16 and Dave McCann and the Firehearts have a gig at the Tongue n Groove, April 16 as well.
 If you like Celtic music, Cudos is bringing in George Ireland and the Boxcar Scocial on Friday, April 15.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 16 April 2011 11:57 ) Read more...

Classified balances touring with home

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Nova Scotia based rapper Classified, aka Luke Boyd is all about the balance these  days — balancing a bustling home life including raising two daughters while producing other Halifax area hip hop artists combined with a tough tour schedule in support of his latest CD  “Handshakes and Middle Fingers.”Classified plays the Stone, April 15. Photo By Dustin Rabin

“We just got into North Bay. Last night in St. Catherine's was sick and the Toronto show was sold out,” Classified observed, noting the tour comes to Lethbridge for a show at the Stone, April 15 with Kidz In The Hall and the Scalebreakers (Subway and Guy Woods).

“It was pretty hyper,” he continued adding to the new CD and the first single “That Ain’t Classy,” has been very favourable.
“So far so good,” he said noting he covers a variety of topics on the CD  including world events, marijuana, being a dad, making it in the music industry.

“That’s the way I’ve always done it, just talking abut what I’ve been going through  in my life. I was on the road for two years straight, I just wanted to get home, get back into the studio and make another hip hop album,” he said adding  the stiff schedule will change now he’s a family man.

“I don’t want to be away from home for a month at a time now. In four or five years, I want to be able to stay home, produce other artists, and watch my little girls grow up,” he said.

 This CD even features Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy on the track “The Hangover,” as well as Kayo, one of the artists he is producing and who is opening his tour.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 April 2011 10:33 ) Read more...
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