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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Shooter's Kingdom of Many

I'm a country girl with a rock and roll heart...and every now and then I get out of the country and head to the big city.  This October I had the opportunity to go to Calgary, Alberta on business.  With that opportunity I had the excuse to trade in my jeans for a pretty (tight) dress and my leopard boots and catch some weekday night life!  Don't be so quick to laugh....

I headed to a neighborhood bar, Shooter's Bar and Grill, to catch a new friend of mine perform on open mic night.  Let's get something clear right off the bat....open mic night is not fucking karaoke night...it's an opportunity for talented musicians to jam and to try out new stuff in front of a live audience....it's fucking awesome!  I met Curtis Butala, my new friend, in Lethbridge this fall when rock band Kingdom of Few performed along with Punk Metal band Silo.  Curtis's amazing lead vocals, backed up by John Clarke on drums, Reno Serani's awesome fucking guitar, and Alex Parks' cool bass guitar make up Calgary rockers Kingdom of Few.  All the guys sing back up vocals and the band has a very solid rock sound.   I loved their fucking sound and I had told the guys then, that if I was in Calgary I would definitely check out a show in the city.

I didn't have to wait too long for the excuse to travel to Calgary to present itself.  The only downfall was I was only going to be in the city during the week...what were the chances that Kingdom of Few would be playing anywhere?  Well, turned out they weren't playing anywhere in Calgary that week, but Curtis mentioned he did some solo stuff and would be at Shooters on Wednesday night.  Curt really does have amazing vocals, so I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.  And I wasn't at all, because as I came through the door I couldn't help but notice Kingdom of Few were playing!!  Fucking A!

The boys were tearing it up, playing originals "On the Corner", "Rich Man" and "All Night Long".  I would find out after their set that they were practicing for a big gig the next night.  They were going to be competing in the Battle of Bands competition in Olds, Alberta.  Again, fucking A!  I loved it that these boys were seeing some great success and I loved it that I that I had been lucky enough to see the whole band perform live again!  By the way....they fucking won that competition the next night!

But the fun doesn't stop there, boys and girls, oh no....
Kingdom of Few weren't the only ones to play open mic night.  Danny Nix was next to take the stage..fuck man, what a treat!  Danny started performing 20 years ago, when he was 14 years old.  Fuck, he's been playing the piano since he was 4 and writing his own songs since he was 8!  His performance of his original song "Lucky One" was enough to impress me, but then I was fucking delighted as he covered favorites of mine from Tom Petty, Def Leppard, The Rolling Stones and Pink FloydKingdom of Few gradually joined him, starting with Curtis on the tamborine and backing vocals, John joining on drums, and then Reno and Alex on guitars making it a full accompaniment.  Fucking A!

And yet there is still more!  Do you remember in the movie, Roadhouse, the skinny chick that slings beer in the bar gets up and rocks out with Jeff Healy....and blows the fucking place away.  Well, that came to mind when Tiffany the chick who was serving me, strapped on a fucking guitar and started singing.   Oh my god...she has a incredible husky voice that would give Sheryl Crow a run for her money!  Sorry girl if I spelled your name wrong...or fuck, got your name wrong!  Yikes, I hope not.....I did had a little bit to drink that night...

Next up was Barbie....Barbie is the persona of good and light!  She is the cutest, sweetest, most positive person I've ever met.  And the chick can fucking sing and play too! I couldn't believe my luck, being there, listening to great music and chatting with the artists after.  Fucking A!  I wish these artists all the luck in the world, because they already have all the talent.

Kingdom of Few is having a CD Release party in Calgary on October 28th at Original Joes Avenida, where they will be performing live along with Danny Nix and Silentpanic!  Congrats guys!!  You fucking rock \m/ ...............; )

Kingdom of Few links:
http://www.kingdomoffew.com/fr_kingdomoffew.cfm
http://www.facebook.com/kingdomoffew
https://twitter.com/#!/KingdomofFew
http://youtu.be/28MuPkMqiGo

Danny Nix links:
http://www.myspace.com/dannynixmusic
http://youtu.be/fEz-seVI-58

Hey Danny...what happened to the fro, man? Nevermind...way too windy here :).

Shooter's Bar & Grill:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/3wu5h35
http://shootersbarandgrill.ca/



Thursday, 20 October 2011

I Want This Mob in My Parlor....

In my last post I raved about a new band I learned about online.  This week I want to do almost the same thing.  I learned about New Jersey band The Parlor Mob online as well but they weren't my discovery.  The Parlor Mob first came to my attention through my one of my sons a couple of years ago.  We've always openly shared music to each other and all my sons know what I like.  So it wasn't uncommon for one of the boys to call me over to the computer to..."listen to this".

As I listened to the amazing riffs accompanied by the incredible vocals of "Can't keep no good boy down" all I could say is "Who the hell is this?  They're incredible!"  The Parlor Mob.  He had heard of them from a VJ on MuchMusic, who said they were her favorite band.  We looked up another song "Everything you're breathing for" and I was in awe.  These guys were a mix of Led Zepplin, Black Crows, and yes even Lynyrd Skynyrd.  This music was fucking timeless, I knew that it would appeal to my time trapped friends as much as it appealed to my son.  I bought the album "And you were a crow", listened and fell in love with it.  I bought 3 more copies to share with friends and waited for The Parlor Mob to become the next big thing.

What the fuck?  I've still yet to hear a Parlor Mob song on our local radio station.  Everybody I've told about them has loved them.  Makes me wonder who decides what is played on radio these days...let's face it, our kids had the right idea when they gave up on radio years ago, opting to decide on their own who and what they listened to.  I still listen to the radio's morning show, the guys are funny and I get caught up on the local news and weather too.  Not to mention that its a great place to win tickets to local events as well!  Other than that though, I've taken a lesson from my kids and turned to the choices offered online as opposed to the open airways. 

Fucking good thing too.  I might have missed The Parlor Mob's new album "Dogs".  When I created a twitter account this summer, I started following bands and musicians I liked.  Through the links offered on twitter profiles, I am able to get updates from the bands official websites or pages.  I can also subscribe to newsletters that also provide a lot of updated information.  As "And you were a crow" is one of my favorite all time albums, (that's right...it ranks with such greats as Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, Tom Petty's Damn the Torpedos, and Eric Clapton's The Journeyman) I made sure to follow The Parlor Mob.  You can't even fucking imagine how pumped I was to learn that The Parlor Mob was getting ready to release their second album.  I previewed The Parlor Mob's "Dogs" on their official website and was able to pre-order the album on iTunes through their links.  

I was so fucking excited to get the email declaring my download was now available!  I knew "Dogs" was no "And you were a crow" because I had previewed it already.  And when I say that, I in no way mean to say that "And you were a crow" was a better album because I don't think it is.  I don't think it's a worse one either...they are just different from each other.  The best way I can describe it is that "And you were a crow" has more of a earthy tone?...where "Dogs" I would describe as more urban?  See, I'm not even sure how to explain the difference. 

These guys are fucking incredible!  These guys, by the way, are singer Mark Melicia, guitarists David Rosen and Paul Ritchie, drummer Sam Bey and bassist Anthony Chick.  Anthony Chick replaces original bassist Nick Villapiano, who left the band on amicable terms.

I would have to say that one of the possible differences in their new album is that their sound has matured.  When I listen to "Practice in Patience" "Slip Through My Hands" and "Hard Enough" I want to cry.  That's because these songs, though they still have amazing guitar riffs and incredible vocals, also have the underlying honesty of adult relationship struggles and heartbreak that can be felt more than heard. 

On the other hand, one similarity between the two albums is the bands apparent political views continue to be voiced through their songs.  Songs such as "Take What's Mine" "American Dream" and "How It's Going To Be" speak of their strong social and political stances.

The Parlor Mob has definitely picked up the pace on their second album....it's has a much harder rock foundation than their first and seem to be a little more daring with experimental guitar without losing the simplicity that makes their music timeless.  In other words...this band has it fucking all!   Some people will prefer their first album, some will prefer their second.  I think a lot will be like me and love them both.......; )

The Parlor Mob can be found at the end of the following links:
http://www.theparlormob.com/
http://www.facebook.com/theparlormob
http://theparlormob.tumblr.com/
http://www.myspace.com/theparlormob
http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/artists/parlormob/
https://twitter.com/#!/theparlormob

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Oh My G.O.D.

When I was a kid, you had one genre of music that you liked and you stuck with it.  In my case it was rock music.  Back in those days if you dared listen to anything else...such as country, or (gasp) disco, your friends would turn their backs on you, you would be stripped of your coolness credibility and publicly shunned.  So you can imagine what a hypocrite I was when at the age of 15, I got pissed off at my mother (who was a country/western fan) because she wouldn't even give the music I listened to a chance.  How dare she judge and call great fucking music (The Rolling Stones, ACDC, April Wine, BTO, Pink Floyd and oh so many more) noise without the benefit of sitting down and actually listening to it!

Hypocrite or not, I was pissed off enough that I swore that when I had kids, I would not judge the music they listened to.  At the very least I would sit down and listen to it with an open mind.  It must have stuck with me, because as my four boys grew (they range in age now from 18 to 26) I most definitely gave the music they liked a listen.  As they were drawn to different kinds of music they shared their interests with me, opening my world to hip hop, rap, punk, metal, and yes even death metal!   I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed an awful lot it.  I gave my sons exposure to greats like Queen, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendricks, Janis Joplin, Beatles, Led Zepplin, Aerosmith (and oh so many more) and in return they introduced me to The Game, Kid Rock (his early stuff) -fuck, I still "wanna be a cowboy, baaaby", Eminem, Kottonmouth Kings, ICP, Mudvayne, Hell Yeah, Korn, Disturbed, Slipknot (and oh so many more).  In fact the curiosity of my kids actually exposed me to older music as well.  Namely the punk that I had overlooked in my youth because I was too engrossed in my hard rock music to listen to anything else.  Artists such as The Ramones and The Misfits.

Now I'm not putting down any kind of music but I am thankful for one thing...though I probably would have given Britney Spears, Hillary Duff, Mylie Syrus, the Jonas Brothers and Justin Bieber a chance had one of my kids been into this kind of pop music, I'm a little fucking happy I didn't have to!

Because I've been able to keep an open mind, I have not yet fallen into the time trap that many of my friends have.  I still seek out new artists to listen to.  Social media sites such as Facebook,  twitter, ReverbNation, myspace etc are great places to find new music.  In fact it was through my twitter account that I first heard about and took a listen to Arizona Punk/Metal band, Gift of Destiny.

I need to apologize in advance...when I get excited I say fuck a lot! Hmmmm.  Excited.  Fuck.  I can't imagine why I would link the two......

Oh My fucking G.O.D....this band is fucking amazing.  I took advantage of their free download "Raise Some Hell" on their website http://www.giftofdestiny.com/ and within the first 10 seconds of listening I was fucking hooked!  I listened to the song a second time and then returned to their webpage to buy the album.  No Fuck.  These guys definitely have a tight sound...and I'm going to assume from the fact that they recorded their debut CD, Throttle, in just 5 days and came out with such a fucking amazing product that the personal chemistry of the band is spot on as well.  

Fuck, I have to tell you about Throttle!  From one song to the next, I was fucking blown away.  In fact, I think I may now be one of Gift of Destiny's biggest fans!   I've only been a fan of Metal for about 4 or 5 years but I've been listening to great music long enough to know fucking talent when I hear it.  Gift of Destiny reeks of musical talent.  I don't know what these boys were doing before they were Gift of Destiny but I'm pretty sure it fucking rocked - because not only do these guys reek of talent, they also reek of experience.

As I listened and fell more in love with these guys by the minute, I was reminded of some of my other favorite artists.  Mudvayne, Hell Yeah, Korn and yes, The Ramones as well.  That being said...Gift of Destiny has a sound and style that belongs to them and to them alone.

Not only are they fucking musically sound, they are fucking lyrically sound as well.  I'm going through some personal shit (probably why I've been drawn to Metal music lately), and I could very much relate to songs such as "The Reason", "Far Away", "You Don't Know Me" and "Waiting".  Want to know what kind of fucking shit I'm going through?...buy the album and listen to the songs...I'll bet you"ll fucking guess!

Regardless of my own pain and anger, listening to Gift of Destiny makes me feel better...happy even.  It's no wonder, boys, that women call your name in their most pleasurable intimate moments....ah, ahh, ahhhh, YES, OH G.O.D., YES!!!!    Los, Mikey, B-Low and Jake...thank you for the music!  I look forward to one day seeing you live...oh, and just to give you fair warning, hehe....I already have the bottle of tequila.....; )

Check out Gift of Destiny at any of the following links
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/giftofdestiny
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/throttle/id427404755
http://www.amazon.com/Throttle-Explicit/dp/B004T6COL4/ref=sr_shvl_album_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1300770853&sr=301-1
http://music.napster.com/artist.htm?id=13596792
http://www.giftofdestiny.com/
http://www.myspace.com/giftofdestiny
http://www.facebook.com/Giftofdestiny?v=wall


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Blast from the Past!

Last Thursday I woke up exhausted to the alarm clock at 4:30 am.  Waking up at 4:30 am is part of my regular weekday routine.  I've mentioned before that I'm in my 40's, so to keep in shape, I start my day with an hour long work out.  Early morning is my time, it's quiet and the world outside my window is still asleep.  It's at this time I grab a couple of hours just to myself and I cherish the time but it also usually requires an early bedtime.  The past week though, I had been staying up later at night, usually writing....I had a creative wave hit me, taking me in a bunch of different directions.  The result being, I wrote a whole bunch of different kinds of stories, none of which are any fucking good, because none got the proper dedication and attention they deserved.  That being said, I have a whole bunch of skeletons that need to be fleshed out, so to speak....should keep me busy for awhile...who knows, maybe that Pulitzer is in hiding in there somewhere :)

Anyway, getting back to last Thursday...I woke up exhausted and swore to myself that, no matter what, I was going to go to bed early tonight!  I was also a little fucking pissed.  Randy Bachman and Fred Turner were going to be playing in Lethbridge tonight and not only could I not afford the tickets (end of September bills to pay) but my efforts to win tickets had proven to be fruitless as well.

I persevered though, and was getting through my work day in between yawns, when at about mid afternoon I received a phone call on my cell that changed my day completely.  "Do you want to go see Bachman and Turner tonight?".......stupid fucking question!!!

Suddenly I had bounds of energy.  Randy Bachman and Fred Turner were two very vital members of the '70's iconic Canadian rock band Bachman Turner Overdrive or also popularly known as BTO.  You may also know Randy from a partnership with Buton Cummings  and their little Canadian band called The Guess Who!  I could hardly fucking wait! I spoke in my last blog about how a song can take you back to a particular place and time in your memory.  BTO was there when I first discovered rock as a young teen and their music managed to survive the years, becoming a part of my memories for decades.  There was no doubt....I would not be fucking going to bed early tonight!  I blasted through the rest of my work day and booted it home to change out of my business suit and into my jeans and jean jacket.

My ticket was being held at the ticket office in the Enmax Centre where Bachman and Turner were playing.  I was pleasantly surprised to see my ticket was an eighth row floor ticket.  True, not as good as first or second row but still fairly close to the stage.  I had to laugh at myself when I entered the floor and started looking for my seat.  Concerts just aren't drawing the fans in anymore and the Enmax had been half closed off, bringing the stage to sit at where center ice would be.  Eighth row, while yes it was fairly close to the stage, was the last row on the floor.  The only people behind me were the sound crew working on the soundboards and of course those who were seated in the stands. At least I was center.

This seat turned out to be perfect for me....you see, I can't stand to sit through a concert.  It's just not right.  Live music is not just something to be listened to politely...fuck, you can do that at home with a CD.  I need to be up on my feet, dancing, stomping, clapping and cheering!  As always though, with a classic band and, lets say, more "mature" fans, there was floor seats.  I hate floor seats...with floor seats if I want to spend the night on my feet, I will no doubt be pissing off the more "mature" person behind me who can't take being on their feet that long and essentially ruining their evening.  So, my seats at the back still allowed me to be the polite rude Canadian I am - I could be up on my feet, stomping, clapping, singing and dancing without pissing anybody else off.

And from the time The Odds (who opened) took the stage that was where I was, on my feet!
The Odds are another Canadian band who has been around for a number of years.  They don't go quite as far back as BTO, but I have been listening to them for at least 20 years.  Being the type of person I am...when I hear a song I like I have to know who does it, so I was very familiar with The Odds, having owned a couple of their albums, liking their sound and their sense of humor. They have had a large amount of singles played on Canadian radio, so almost everyone here has heard and liked their tunes, many just don't pay attention to who it is.  And it doesn't help that they release their records in secret.  There never seems to be any talk of them releasing a new record...a single just appears on the radio, leaving fans to wonder....." The Odds have a new CD?"  If you haven't heard of them, you should check them out...I think they would be the result if Lenny Kravitz and The Barenaked Ladies had a baby together.  Truth Untold, Eat My Brain, It Falls Apart, and Satisfied are all just a few of their songs that warrant a listen.  My personal favorite, though has to be Heterosexual Man and man did I have a blast dancing and singing along to this song live! My dancing had also given a few others in the audience courage, coming back to where I was, and dancing as well....polite Canadians, I'm telling you.

When Craig Northey, lead singer, announced the band would be available to sign autographs at their merchandise table during intermission, I made a beeline for it.  It was there, as I was waiting for the band to show to sign the CD I just bought, that I spoke to a nice looking gentleman who commented on how much he was enjoying the show. He also mentioned he didn't know The Odds did all those songs...I smiled.  It was something I'd been hearing through the crowd as I had made my way to the table.  See guys, quit being so secretive...people really like you, they do!

I never pass up an opportunity to flirt with the band and this night was no exception.  The guys were great!  Really friendly and funny.  I enjoyed meeting them.

Bachman and Turner took the stage next and I took to my feet once again.  Again I was mostly alone in my dancing...most still opting to sit...fuck, what is wrong with people?  These guys (and seniors themselves) fucking rocked!  They opened with Roll down the Highway, a great song about being on the road, on their way to the next show.  They got a few more people on their feet when they performed American Woman, a Guess Who classic.  Fred Turner's vocals were spot on in his raspy blues best doing Blue Collar - by the way, this songs speaks to the early riser in me - and Four Wheel Drive.  But by the time they wrapped up their encore with fan favorite Takin' Care of Business, everyone was on their feet, dancing and singing along!  Randy had even made mention that it had been suggested to him that the Lyrics to Takin' Care of Business should be on the Canadian Citizenship test.  They are just something that every Canadian knows!

You get up every morning, from the alarm clock's warning
Take the 8:15 into the city
There's a whistle up above and people pushin' people shovin'
and the girls who try to look pretty
And if your train's on time, you can get to work by 9
and start your slaving job to get your pay
If you ever get annoyed, look at me I'm self employed
I love to work at nothing all day
And I'll be takin' care of business.........

.....yep, I'm Canadian!
It was a fucking awesome show and a fucking awesome night thanks to the very talented musicians that make up The Odds and Bachman and Turner!  I do want to give a special shout out to the sound crews for both The Odds and Bachman and Turner, though.  They kept the sound spot on, regardless of the fact that I was shaking my ass - and it is a very fine ass, even if I do say so myself - right in front of them all fucking night!

Band and singer names are links once again...check out The Odds and Bachman and Turner, their music and their solo careers as well...........; )

P.S. On Friday I set the alarm for 5:30 am....I figured I got enough exercise the night before!