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Upside Downtown concert series to activate Rotary Square every Thursday

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The Alllied Arts Council is excited to “activate” downtown with a new after work Thursday concert series.

Shaela Miller opens the Upside Downtown  Concert Series at Rotary Sqaure, Thursday, July 29. Photo by Richard Amery

Every Thursday through to September, Upside Downtown features local musicians playing on Rotary Square from 5-7 p.m. next to Casa, beginning this Thursday with Shaela Miller.

 

“I’m excited to help activate downtown,” said Allied Arts Council  communications director Kelaine Devine.

 

“ Musicians haven’t been able to play live for the past year. And these are some of my favourite musicians performing. Not only are they  great performers, but they give back to the community,” she continued, adding the Allied Arts Councils is working with the City of Lethbridge and received a grant to help fund this concert series.

 

“We’ve been planning this series for a long time. We were waiting for health restrictions to be lifted and to get a grant,” she said.

 

Up and coming funk band Lemba, who usually go by Lemba and the New Testaments performs next Thursday, Aug. 5, Dave McCann plays a solo show Aug. 12, Biloxi Parish is on the square, Aug. 19.

Singer songwriters Wendy Colby and Karen Romanchuk are on deck, Aug. 26, Bailey Kate plays Sept. 2 and Fawns and the Owl Acoustic Lounge owner Steven Foord  wind things down, Sept. 9.

 

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Something for everyone every day this week

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Rock and roll every night and party every day this week if you like, because there is something big happening every day this week.

Things begin tonight, Tuesday, July 27 with the Owl Acoustic Lounge open mic.

Poetry open mics return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Wednesday night, July 28.

 

 Centric Music Festival has their third concert Wednesday at 7 p.m. with pianist Gabriel Kastelic and viola player Gabriel Kastelic.

 There will be limited seating at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, but the event is also online. Admission is a $10 donation.

 

 The Geomatic Attic takes over Wednesday with an unusual roof top concert at the Park n Ride

 Wide Skies Reimagined begins at 6 p.m. with a beer gardens and food trucks in the Bowman  Arts Centre parking lot.

 Unfortunately the event is at full capacity. The main show beginning with Leeroy Stagger at 8 p.m. followed by MonkeyJunk. Though the event is free, you needed to book in advance to reserve  a spot due to limited capacity. All 400 seats have been spoken for. If you are one of the lucky ones, Skinny Dyck and Evan Eushenko perform from 6-8 p.m.  If you got a seat, you can access the roof top at 7:30  p.m. through the  south doors on fifth Ave.

 Leeroy Stagger and Rebeltone sound are on at 8:15 p.m.. Monkeyjunk start at 9:30 p.m. The show ends at 11 p.m. and everybody must exit the building by 11:15 p.m. There will be water stations, so bring your own bottle but alcohol is prohibited.

 

Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few will be at Henderson Lake Park for arts in the park on Saturday. Photo by Richard Amery

 The Allied Arts Council kicks off a new Thursday after work concert series on July 29 at Casa in Rotary Square. The Upside Downtown concert series features performances every Thursday from 5-7 p.m. Shaela Miller is the first performer. 

 After that, wander across the street where Ontario folk/ punk musician Eamon McGrath will be playing a special patio show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 29 at 7 p.m.

 

And if you are still in the mood for live music, check out the Slice’s regular Thursday night open mic after that.

Friday features Honkers Pub’s usual Friday night open mic. Honker’s Pub has their usual Saturday afternoon open mic as well at 4 p.m.

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Leeroy Stagger returning to Lethbridge for Wide Skies Reimagined

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Leeroy Stagger is excited to return to Lethbridge to play a special roof top show for the Geomatic Attic’s Wide Skies Reimagined Festival, Wednesday, July 28.

 Stagger, who moved back to his home of Victoria during the pandemic is happy to be playing his music in front of people again. 

 It has been an adjustment being back on the road and has taken a toll on his voice so he answered some questions by e-mail.

 

Leeroy Stagger returns to Lethbridge, July 21. Photo by Piper Ferguson

“Hi Richard, nice to hear from you! Just adjusting to be back on tour and performing again, it’s such a trip. Love the performing but not so much the travelling. We are loving being back on the coast, all of my family are here, the best part of moving back has been being able to spend so much time with them. We miss

Lethbridge and I’m certainly excited to be back for a little visit,” he wrote, adding he is having to get his voice back in shape.

 

“The best part is playing and the camaraderie between me and my band, that’s a real thing that years on the road together cannot break. I’m really having to take care of myself on this run as my voice warms back up, lots of vocal exercises and I talk very quietly before shows, it’s comical really,” he noted, adding he will be touring with long time bandmates, bassist Tyson Maiko and multi-instrumentalist Ryland Moranz. He will be joined by drummer Kyler Harmon for the Alberta dates and Nick Stecz was on the BC shows.

 

“It’s been great to play with Nick again, he’s played with us on and off for well over 10 years, same with Kyle,” he noted.

 

 It has been challenging as a touring musician during the pandemic, but he has been able to spend more time with his family.

 

“The biggest challenge has been having my income cut down to a third but how honestly it’s been a real blessing to have so much time to spend with my family and to have time to go inwards and decide what I really want in life. Family is more important than ever to me these days. I’ve dedicated far too much time to touring and that life over the last two decades and now it’s time to reverse that,” he noted.

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MonkeyJunk returning to play Wide Skies Reimagined

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Multi-instrumentalist Steve Marriner is excited to bring his blues rock trio MonkyJunk back to Lethbridge, July 28 for a special roof top show for the Geomatic Attic.

“I just found out it was a roof top show a  few days ago. It’s a weird venue. It’s unusual but we’ll play anywhere,” said Marriner, noting the strangest venues MonkeyJunk was played was a bank in France.

 

Steve Marriner playing with MonkeyJunk. Photo by Richard Amery

“It was back in 2009 when MonkeyJunk was jus starting. It was a strange festival without a centralized stage in a field. They had everyone playing in non-traditional spaces. On that festival, we played community centres and the bank,” he said, adding he is excited to return to Lethbridge. They are already playing the Calgary blues Festival and were happy to travel on down the road to play for the Geomatic Attic.

 

“We were supposed to play Wide Skies Music Festival for the Geomatic Attic before the pandemic, so when we got the Calgary Blues Festival gig, we checked in with Mike Spencer and he asked us to play this show with Leeroy Stagger. Of course we said yes because Leeroy is a dear, dear friend of mine,” Marriner said.

 

“We’ve always had a close relationship with Lethbridge,” he continued, adding MonkeyJunk will play their favourite songs.

 

“This will be the first show we’ve played in front of actual people in a long time, so hopefully we won’t make too many mistakes,” he laughed.

 

“So we’ll be playing our favourite songs and hopefully the crowd’s favourites,” he continued, taking a break from recording.

 

Marriner spent the pandemic learning how to produce and engineer music in the studio.

In addition to releasing his second solo CD “ Hope Dies Last,” in addition to Ontario artists like Miss Emily (Emily Fennell) as well as David Gogo‘s new album, “Silver Cup” which is to be released in October or November.

 

“I went out to B.C to record it in his house. He plays guitar and sings and I play pretty much everything else. I play drums on most of it and bass on most of it and some piano,” he said.

“ I’m really excited about it.”

 

He is also really excited about the solo album.

“With MonkeyJunk, the three of us create all the sounds. We’ll bring in backup singers sometimes, but me, Tony Diteodoro and Matt Sobb make all the sounds,” he said, adding in between Covid peaks and shutdowns, they went into the studio to write new material.

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About L.A. Beat


L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

It is designed to support music, art, drama and other cultural endeavours in and around the city.

It will start out as an online presence and then evolve into a print edition which will be distributed at numerous locations in the city.

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