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40 Sons lots of fun for sparse crowd

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On Nov. 25, 10 people came to see 40 Sons, who have the potential to be Canada’s next big rock band.
The Hamilton based rock band weren’t perturbed  by the  low numbers.40 Sons singer/ guitarist Mike Szpakowski. Photo by Richard Amery
 They started with a set of classic rock covers including an impressive version of Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’ and displayed some pretty sweet vocal harmonies on“Feel Like Making Love.” But they shone during their second set of  completely original material upon which they wore their classic rock influences on their sleeves. There were lots of big riffs, catchy choruses. “Weight of the World” was a highlight. They were tight and premiered a lot of the new music from their next CD to be released next year.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 December 2009 15:34 )

Tanglefoot tears it up for last show in Lethbridge

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Southern Ontario folk stalwarts, Tanglefoot  played their third last gig of their careers in Lethbridge, Nov. 27 at the Wolf’s Den. And there was no way  I was going to miss that, though it meant missing a lot of other  great shows. They have all of the components of the perfect band— unparalleled musicianship,  bountiful energy, multi-Terry Young  of Tanglefoot. Photo By Richard Ameryinstrumental capabilities, really intelligent, thought provoking lyrics, an engaging stage presence and a keen sense of humour. They even have five part vocal harmonies. All of which they displayed  in a fitting career ending performance.
Myself and several folk club members were trying to determine  the last time they were here but the closest we could determine by the posters on the wall (the Wolf’s Den is decorated from posters from all of their past shows) was 2006. I knew the last time I saw them was in Kenora but had never seen them here, so was interested to hear what they’d do. As it was they played a lot of their most recent CD, 2006’s “Dance Like The Flames,” which was excellent, but they also played a few of my favourites “Dollar Bill” and “Agnes on the Cowcatcher” which, like most of their material, drew  inspiration from interesting tidbits of Canadian history.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 December 2009 14:48 ) Read more...

State of Shock rocks it

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State of Shock’s celebrated “the only Monday of the week” by leaving  an almost  full Blarney Stone in a state of deafness, Nov. 30.Mark Belisle of Double Jack. Photo by Richard Amery
Local grunge rock band Double Jack, late additions to the bill, because of  health issues in the Latency camp, warmed up the audience with their energetic ’90s style detuned rock.  Guitarist/singer Mark Belisle showed he could sing glass shattering high notes like Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell as well as he could hit Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder’s  growling midrange, especially on  a song called Jesse Wainright of State of Shock. Photo by Richard Amery’Rise’ which also featuring some big guitar work.
They played tight and had the audience completely warmed  up and ready by the time State of Shock took the stage around 10:30 p.m. State of Shock singer Cam Melnyk observed the audience was ripe with attractive women, then launched into a  loud hit filled  set which had  the audience singing along with most  of the songs, the band bounded all over the stage through the riff filled numbers.
Guitarist Jesse Wainwright brought out a double necked Gibson for “Best I Ever Had,” as a taped keyboard accompaniment  blasted through the Blarney Stone for the first in what seemed like an endless stream of nauseating power ballads. They were well done , if rock ballads are your thing. Melnyk  had the voice for it in a Creed/ Pearl Jam way. They redeemed themselves by rocking it with an uptempo rocker  which sounded like it was called “Day After Day,” then another rocker called ‘Stupid’
They wound up their set  with  a version of Papa Roach’s ‘Last Resort‘ before ending  the show with, of course, their big hit, ‘Money Honey’ and had most of the crowd singing  the whole thing.
— By Richard Amery, L..A.Beat editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 December 2009 15:43 )

Plaid Tongued Devils tickets up for grabs

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There will be tough choices this week, especially on Friday, Dec. 4, with  one of the coolest bands to come out of Calgary — The Plaid Tongued Devils, who will be bringing back their unusual blend of  of gypsy/klezmer/ ska/reggae tinged chaos to Henotic. Cicala is also on the bill  for those who like their music Eastern European flavoured.Dean Wilson of the Phantom Creeps .
At the Slice, Smokestack Jacks with be playing with  the Phantom Creeps and Vancouver Celtic-punks, the Dreadnoughts. The Slice also has a good local rock show the next night with  The Void, Milk Tea and Mr.  Personal.
At the University of Lethbridge the Headbanger’s Society  finishes the year with  Akakor, Guruth, Pathogen and Parapsychotic in the U of L ballroom, Dec. 4.
To help make the decision  a little easier. L.A Beat is giving away two tickets to the Plaid Tongue Devils. Just be the first person to e-mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the answer to this question.“Where is Plaid Tongued Devils lead singer Ty Semaka originally from?’
 Other cool shows this week include Ghostkeeper and the Sunparlour Players who play the Slice, Dec. 3. The Sunparlour Players are also doing an in store appearance at Blueprint Records from 6-8 p.m., Dec. 3.
 And Generation Landslide  helps Beaches Pub celebrate their fifth birthday, Dec. 5.
As always there are a lot of open mics  happening throughout the week.
 The 1010 Pub has moved their weekly open stage to Monday nights. Paul Kype and Texas Flood host the Slice’s open mic, Dec.8. Felipe Rodriguez hosts the open stage at Henotic on Wednesday, and Greg Gomola is hosting an open mic at Beaches Pub on Thursday night.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 December 2009 11:08 )

Crazy klezmer with The Plaid Tongued Devils

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Calgary  klezmaniacs, The Plaid Tongued Devils have been keeping a low profile over the past few years with kids, wives and houses, but they are looking forward to playing again and writing again.
“I just recently separated from my wife, so I’ve been writing feverishly. I’ve got a lot to write about now. I just wrote a song last night. I’m pretty proud of it,” said singer Ty Semaka. They were to have played Henotic, tonight, Dec. 4, but canceled due to the weather. “We try to  play Lethbridge twice a year. Last time it was the Slice. We used to play the Zoo at the University of Lethbridge, then they started to get  in DJs and stuff. We used to play a place called Carole’s which became the Slice and I think it became something in between that,” the Taber born and raised Semaka remembered adding they will be bringing in both fiddle players, Roxanne Young and Jonathan Lewis to Henotic.
“Jonathan is a technical player and Roxanne is a showman, so we get to have the best of both worlds. They’re both electric, and they’re trading leads, so it’s like a rock show,” Semaka said.
So how does  someone  born and raised in Taber get into klezmer  music?

Last Updated ( Friday, 04 December 2009 15:53 ) Read more...
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