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Mr. Tuesday play the hits for a Thursday St. Patrick’s Day

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Calgary based rock band Mr. Tuesday played a St. Patrick’s Day set at the Slice, which focused on  the hits.

Mr. Tuesday playing the Slice for St. Patricks Day. Photo by Richard Amery
 They played a variety of songs like Presidents of the United States of America’s ’90s hit “ Lump” as well as Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.”

 They were having their fun with a solid set of familiar songs.

 They kicked things up a notch with “Breaking the Law,” and added their own version of the Dropkick Murphy’s “Shipping Out to Boston” for a touch of Celtic flair.

— By Richard Amery, L.A.beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 March 2017 12:08 )

Kiwanis Speech Arts Festival in transition this year

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The last 87th Annual Lethbridge Kiwanis Music and Speech Arts Festival kicks off this week.

Lethbridge Kiwanis Music and Speech Arts Festival general manager Beth Cook (right)  is excited to pass the baton over to new director Natasha Tompkins (Left).
It runs March 27-April 8 at seven different venues and features over 1,000 entrants this year.
Though Kiwanis club are backing away from the festival, the festival will continue next year under a slightly different name and brand new organizing board.
“It will be two weeks of exciting performances of over 1,000 entries,” enthused general manager Beth Cook, who is stepping down from the position after this festival winds up April 8 with the Stars of the Festival Concert.

“We have a lot more choral entries this year and such a diverse group,” Cook enthused, adding there are seven venues, most of them located in the downtown core.

“But we’ve added Chinook High school as a venue, because they have  a  band including a choir which has 160 students in it,” she said, noting it was easier to use Chinook as a venue rather than coordinate transportation  for that many students. Performances take place every day in the Sterndale Bennett Theatre and Yates Theatre,  Southminster United Church, St. Augustine‘s Hall ( 411-11 St South), St. Patrick’s Fine Arts Elementary School (80 Riverglen Rd. W) and at the Downtown library.

 As usual, there are two big concerts. The Musical Theatre Showcase, featuring the best musical theatre performances of the week happens at the Yates Theatre, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. And the Stars of the Festival concert happens at the Yates Theatre, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. Admission to each show is five dollars each.

“And we have 13 adjudicators coming from B.C, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. We have an increased number of strings sessions. So there is significant growth and we have14 provincial medal classes including five voice, four choral, one woodwinds, one strings and three musical theatre classes,” she summarized.

“We’ll be having 81 sessions, morning, afternoon and most evenings,“ she continued. There are vocalists, choirs, bands, piano, winds, brass, percussion, guitar, handbells, string and musical theatre performances plus junior and senior speech arts performances all over the city for the next two weeks.

Pipe organ sessions are not happening this year.
“We only had three entries last year,” she said.

 Cook is retiring this year.
“I have knee surgery scheduled for next year and I don’t know when it will be,” said Cook, noting she took over as festival manager in 2010 from Carole Roberts.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 March 2017 11:53 ) Read more...

Yukon Blonde taking time to work on new music

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Vancouver indie rock/pop band Yukon Blonde have been busy hunkering down working on new music. Yukon Blonde return to Lethbridge, April 6. Photo by Richard Amery
  But they are excited to shake a little dust off and hit the road for a quick tour including Average Joes, April 6 where they will be joined by fellow Vancouverites the Belle Game.

“We’ve been playing a few  gigs here and there. We played an awesome New Year’s Eve show with the Sheepdogs and we played a great show in Fernie at the ski hill, By now we’re a pretty well oiled machine,“ said Yukon Blonde guitarist Brandon Scott. They had a huge hit last year and an accompanying quirky video for “ I Want to Be Your Man” and other hits like “ Saturday Night” also get quite a bit of airplay.

“We’ve spent the past six months working for us. It hasn’t been as hectic  as usual because we tour a lot. But a couple of the guys went to Europe and came back with a bunch of songs. So we‘re throwing a lot of songs into the pot,“ Scott said, noting the new CD will likely be released in 2018.

“I’d like to release it earlier, but we don’t want to rush these things, he said.

 They have been working with two producers on the new songs.

“We recorded with Colin Stewart who produced our last couple of albums. He lives on Vancouver Island. And Steve Bays from Hot Hot Heat,” Scott said.
“Working with Steve was really cool. It’s been cool to get a different perspective on songs,” he said adding they haven’t played any of the new songs live before.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 March 2017 11:36 ) Read more...

Global Drums pound out the rhythms of Asia for this year’s concert

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Like the old song  says, Global Drums want to bang on a drum all day, but the local percussion ensembles’ March 31 and April 1 concerts at University Theatre will be more than just making a lot of racket. It will be a cultural experience.

Global Drums member  Marc Vantoly plays a Japanese Taiko drum. Photo by Richard Amery
“They’re performing music from Japan and India and there will be traditional dance from West Africa,” said U of L director of percussion, Adam Mason, who is excited to present this year’s global a concert with co director Joe Porter.

“It tells a story, it’s very visual, it’s not just making sounds,” Mason said.

“One of the pieces is called Golden Pheasant, which shows the life of a pheasant,” he said, adding another piece reflects the sound of falling walnuts.

“These pieces are originally performed by the ordinary guy— Joe Farmer and Joe Villager, not College graduates or professional musicians,” he continued.

 The ensemble travels the world looking for inspiration and learning from the best world musicians performing.
 They were in Hawaii in February.

“This is a top tier percussion ensemble,” said Mason, adding the 75 members range in age from university of Lethbridge students to seniors and include not only students, teachers, community member, U of L professors and more.

The selections for this concert were inspired by the ensemble’s travels to Hong Kong and China, where they will be selling a set of their steel drums to an ensemble over there.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 March 2017 14:57 ) Read more...

March ends with a roar

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March ends on a heavier note this week with some key shows happening.
 Elise Roller, who used to sing lead vocals with popular Calgary band Go For The Eyes, shows her heavier side with Winnipeg metal/ grunge band the Solhounds. They make their Lethbridge debut, Thursday, March 31 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. They will be joined by a new project from Jeff Turner, who also used to sing lead vocals with Go For the Eyes.
 A couple of cool shows bring March to a close on March 31.

Calgary rockabilly band the Hi Strung Downers return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge to bring some twang into Spring.
 The Geomatic Attic AttiThe Dirti Speshuls play one of several local shows this week. Photo by Richard Ameryc features four exceptional songwriters, March 31 as Kimberley MacGregor, Matt Patershuk, Mike Stack and Lethbridge’s Ryland Moranz play their songs and help each other out on each other’s songs.

 Calgary psychedelic rock/ folk band Flowshine returns to the Slice, March 31 as well.
 Dueling Pianos returns to Average Joes, March 31 as well.
Over at Casino Lethbridge, country band El Camino are playing both March 31 and April 1.

The Slice has a big local rock show on April 1 with JJ Thomas, Free the Cynics, the Dirti Speshuls and Gabriel Olsen all performing.
 Things will be a little mellower at the Owl Acoustic Lounge as Vancouver based indie rock/ Radiohead inspired band Goodwind Atoms play April 1 with songwriter pat Moloney
And it’s never too soon to plan ahead.

 Local singer/ songwriters Shaela Miller and Mwansa Mwansa are playing a free show at the Slice, April 5 for CKUA’s week long  Touch the Transmitter tour, which will be broadcasted live as part of the Alberta radio station’s 20th anniversary celebrations. Meet hosts Haley Muir and David Ward at 6:30 p.m. with the broadcast beginning at 7 p.m.

And even further down the line, The City of Lethbridge, University of Lethbridge and Enmax Centre just announced the first part of the line up for the Shine On Summer Festival, a special 150th anniversary celebration at the University of Lethbridge,  Sept. 1-3.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 March 2017 08:04 ) Read more...
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