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    Music Lives Goes Print Update 1

    This is a BIG THANK YOU to everyone that has already contributed or helped spread the word about our campaign to go to print.

    The last couple of weeks we have seen a lot of great live music in Guelph and we’ve been to almost every show. Attendance has been great! Summer usually means show attendance drops a little with a lot of people away on vacation or home for the summer, but this year attendance is steadily climbing each show. Working with the bands, from Guelph or abroad, local promoters and live music fans, there is a positive momentum in our scene I think everyone can feel building. For us specifically, we are already really excited with how things are going but we also feel that we’re just getting started.

    20130610195816-indiegogoBannerThe Music Lives Mix Perk is coming along great! We’ve already received a half dozen songs from Guelph musicians and have confirmed a half dozen more. Ambre McLean (she’s got some unreleased material!), Arkham Awaits, Bowjia, Breadfan, brand new Good For Naughts, Jordan Raycroft, Barrett’s Privates and more, have all graciously donated songs. With such a diverse talent pool of Guelph musicians getting on board we might have to make it a double disc!

    We couldn’t be happier with our campaign‘s progress so far and we are a little overwhelmed with gratitude. Thanks you so much for the support so far.

    American Hell, Anu Beginning, Unbowed, and Jetpacks to Jupiter at Red Papaya

    The long weekend kicked off with a bang, with GAIN Music and KronikNoise hosting American Hell, Anu Beginning, Unbowed, and Jetpacks to Jupiter at Red Papaya on Friday, May 17.

    Red Papaya is a large Thai restaurant – and bless their hearts, they also host metal shows! It was my first time there, and I must say, it’s a pretty cool venue with ample space for bands and fans. The restaurant has a few tiered levels of seating, and that makes for some unique vantage points for seeing a show.

    Between working the doors, catching up and making connections with other local metal heads, I was able to take in enough of the show to let you know that if you weren’t there … you missed a good time! This was a high energy show and a good size crowd came out to see some excellent Ontario metal.

    Stoney Creek’s Jetpacks to Jupiter kicked off the night with their rock/pop/alternative sound. Surprisingly, this was only the band’s second show, and I can’t think of a better way to say this – man, do these guys really have their sh*t together! They sounded great – very polished (in a good way) – and have obviously spent some time crafting their image, with a slick logo and a set of backdrops for their live show.

    Hometown melodic metal band Unbowed took to the stage next and delivered a powerful set consisting mostly of songs from their upcoming album, and WOW does the new stuff sound good! Last time I talked to the guys they said the new album was being recorded this summer, so keep an eye – er, ear – out for that. Unbowed drew the largest crowd of the night to the front of the stage, and were even successful in getting a little circle pit going. That’s right Guelph, there was a circle pit at Red Papaya. I think we need to give some credit to the boyz in Noiz A Noiz for that too.

    4/6th of Mandroid Echostar look on as Anu Beginning get the Red Papaya jacked up!
    4/6th of Mandroid Echostar look on as Anu Beginning get the Red Papaya jacked up!

    London’s Anu Beginning kept the energy rolling and prepped the stage for the main act.

    Niagara-area metal heads American Hell finished off the night and delivered some seriously satisfying headbangs. The current lineup has been together since 2010 and American Hell has been working the festival circuit and sharing the stage with some big names. Their experience shows – riffs were tight and frontman Craig Laro really knows how to get the crowd worked up. A full-length album is expected from American Hell sometime this year.

    If you like it loud, don’t miss the next GAIN Music & KronikNoise event on Friday, May 31 with Skynet, Partycat, Seducing Medusa and Kennedy.

    Mokomokai Are On My Radar

    Mokomokai is a band that I would have loved when I was thirteen. I would have had posters on my wall, T-Shirts, all of their cassettes. I would have followed them into my twenties, with the extra income I would have as an adult, I would have seen them live on all their Greatest Hits tours. Maybe Mokomokai are time travelers. As it turns out, they’re an up and coming band and I got to see them last Sunday at GAIN Presents (U) the Band, Mokomokai, Jeremy & the Pink Band and Waterbodies. A great all around line-up, down at the A.N.A.F. Club 344.

    What I noticed about Mokomokai right away, before I even entered the A.N.A.F., is that their singer John Ellis had the old-school Metal style. Tight jeans (not in the hipster kind of way), bullet belts (in the LMG kind of way), loosely tied high-tops (the FUBAR kind of way) and long hair (in the hair I used to have kind of way). John was a good twenty feet ahead of me while I struggled to get up to the venue door with my crutch (yeah, still on one crutch some of the time) and he held the door and waited for me to get in. Mokomokai people, are a courteous people. Then they hit the stage and became so much more than that.

    Mokomokai singer John has a angelic voice made of steel!
    Mokomokai singer John has a angelic voice made of steel!

    Have you ever been to a show where the audience high-fives each other as soon as a band starts playing? Because that’s what happened! As soon as the power-trio from Peterborough were grooving on the first song of their set, and John let out his first Rob Halford-esque wail, members of the whole audience looked at one another with giant grins and nodded. Mokomokai‘s whole sound is a throw back to the Classic Metal I grew up on, before the lace, lipstick and perms took over. They’ve compensated for the extra guitar players (a lot of NWOBHM bands have three) with speed and power. Simply put, Mokomokai play as loud and as fast as their bodies will allow. Drummer J.P. Contois nails a Led Zeppelin song. Who can say that?! Jeremy Pastic jumps around and makes the most insane faces while laying down a bass groove that kept the smiles on our faces through Mokomokai‘s whole set.

    Mokomokai: Rock so hard it turns to METAL!

    On stage, Mokomokai are aggressive, without being negative. Fun to watch, without being gimmicky. Different than anything new in The Metal you’ve heard in a while, without ignoring the fundamentals in The Metal‘s history. But mostly I’m a fan of Mokomokai because they ROCK SO HARD!

    See Mokomokai with Dance Laury Dance, Hellbros! and Little Foot Long Foot at Hard Luck Bar, Toronto, Thursday, May 16.

    See Mokomokai with Dance Laury Dance, Hellbros! and Little Foot Long Foot at The Atria, Oshawa, Friday, May 17.

    OR AS…

    Part of Pouzzafest at Pub St-Ciboire, Montreal, Canada.

    Grab their EP, Justice And Chrome, from their Bandcamp page.

    Hoodie Good – Show Review

    Hoodie Good is a name I recognize from posting shows in Guelph for almost two years but, up until Saturday, hadn’t had the opportunity to see live. Based on what I’d read, I expected a solo singer/song writer. I walked into The Cornerstone for week two of Hoodie Good’s May residency (brought to you by Fortnight Music) guessing they’d have their regular set up, guitar, amp, microphone. I was wrong. Drum kit, a table with some electronics, guitar, were all set up. Each musician’s spot was also set up with a vocal mic. Now I’m expecting at least a 3-piece. I grab a seat to the side of the stage, as The Cornerstone was very busy with Hoodie Good fans, and waited for the band to take the stage.

    Hoodie Good utilizes all of the gear on stage seamlessly. A modern take on the One-Man-Band.
    Hoodie Good utilizes all of the gear on stage seamlessly. A modern take on the One-Man-Band.

    A member of the band starts what I think is sound check and slowly the crowd starts to quiet down. What I didn’t realize, was that this IS the BAND. Hoodie Good gets on the drum kit and starts playing a beat, nothing fancy or complicated, just something to get the show going. As he stands up from the drum kit, I understand what some of the gear is to the side of the stage. The beat he was just playing continues in a loop. He stops at the table with the electronics and starts singing. Layering some subtle vocals over the drum beat. Finally, Hoodie Good moves to the front of the stage, straps on the guitar, and starts playing away and singing. One man, four instruments in a matter of minutes. I’m impressed.

    PWYC $5 or more and get a copy of Strange August. Do it!
    PWYC $5 or more and get a copy of Strange August. Do it! It’s great!

    As his performance continues I notice how efficiently Hoodie Good uses each station set up on the stage to add layers and loops of vocals and percussion to create a sound, that if you had your eyes closed, you’d swear a four or five piece band were making. Most of the songs performed have a firm foothold in Pop. Great hooks, sing along choruses, upbeat and heartfelt. If Hoodie Good weren’t so multi-talented, he’d need a full band to do his songs justice. Hoodie Good takes the if you want something done right, do it yourself attitude to a place where it’s perfectly executed, fun to watch, AND listen.

    Don’t miss Hoodie Good‘s last two nights of residency at The Cornerstone, Saturday, May 18th and/or Saturday, May 25th. Each has a different opening performer.


    Your Neck Of The Woods Farewell Show

    I’ve been a fan of Your Neck Of The Woods since the first time I got to see them play live. I’m not exactly sure when that was. I’m not sure if I was at their first show, or if I’d just randomly come across them at one of Guelph‘s many venues for live music. All I do remember is the energy they brought to the stage and how it, somehow infected, everyone else in the room. I will talk about it a little, but now that I have great new phone (HTC One S, I love you!) I can show you as well.

    As you can see. The place was packed. Actually Van Gogh’s Ear stood at capacity for the entirety of Your Neck Of The Woods set, which ran almost an hour and a half. I’m sure they played every song they recorded, wrote, and songs they added into a medley at the end of their set (See video two below). Everything about the night was exceptional.  There were no drunk girls crying over their boyfriends. They were all dancing. There were no guys being macho and fighting, although, the front row of male fans did get topless near the end of the set. Everyone was just having the time of their life. I mean, body surfing, at Van Gogh’s Ear, at a country show. Really?!

    There was no real highlight to the evening. The whole show was the highlight, with Your Neck Of The Woods bringing up friends as backing vocalists for the last song they’d ever play together as a band. It’s very safe to say that Your Neck Of The Woods went out with a bang and will be one of Guelph‘s most missed bands.

    Visit our Facebook page for a Gallery of photos from the event with lots of crowd shots. If you were there, tag yourself and your friends!

    I’m glad to report that Ben Doerksen, their six foot plus lead singer, has formed a new band and will be playing Jimmy Jazz August 11th. Check out our event page!


    Welcome to V2.0!

    Welcome to V2.0 of Music Lives! It’s been almost 16 months (but who’s counting) since this project was started and a lot has changed. What hasn’t changed is the musical talent that comes from and through Guelph on a weekly basis.

    When we started talking about a site refresh we looked at all of our data for the first year to see what people were using. Then decided to put it almost everything right on the home page. We looked at what was the most time consuming part of maintaining the site, so Kelly at Oaktree Media built a custom calendar for the events page. If it takes us less time to list each event, we can post more events. That was our logic anyway. Getting our traffic up, was also a crucial component of the redesign. You might notice every event is it’s own page now, it also stays on the site so you can look up the Bands you might have seen on the weekend. We also added a Bands section, allowing us to link within Music Lives. These few things will cut down on time for us, but add a lot of things Google looks for when you search for something. Also, in the Bands and Events section you’ll find forms to be filled out. We get invited to a lot of Guelph‘s music events through Facebook but some still slip through the cracks. If you’re throwing a show you want up on the site, or you’re a local band that wants that extra bit of exposure, fill those forms out!

    Something else to look at is in the bottom left corner of the Home page. We are starting a weekly newsletter! Sign up and get the low down on the week’s upcoming events, updates from our blog and a quick note or two on how the shows over the weekend went. We always try to keep you as up to date as we are. This will help remind you to check out our site at least a few times a week.

    As for the blog, it will be growing as well. We’ve got a short list of people willing to lend their talents to help keep the blog busier than ever. You’ll still have Teresa supplying you with Music Monday. Teresa is great at exposing fantastic, under-the-radar, bands. A few of us will be tackling more show and album reviews, along with some amateur and professional photographers that could lend us their lens for future posts.

    We’ve got amazing support from Guelph‘s music community, performers and fans alike, and for that we couldn’t be more grateful. Thanks Guelph! We hope everyone enjoys the changes to the site, and we’re sure you can still easily find the information about Guelph‘s live music scene. With all of these additions to the site we can’t help but be excited about everything to come. Now, to fill the brand new events calendar…