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Streets Alive Fundraisers among this week’s highlights

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There is a little something for everyone this week.

 Tonight country stars the Bellamy brothers, s who were all over the pop and country charts throughout the ’70s and ’80s with hits like “Let Your Love Flow,” Dancing Cowboys,” “Sugar Daddy,” “You Ain’t Just Whistlin’ Dixie,” “Lovers Live Longer,” “Do You Love As Good As You Look,” “Redneck Girl,” “For All The Wrong Reasons,” “I Love Her Mind,” “I Need More Of You,” “Old Hippie,” “Too Much Is Not Enough,” “Kids Of The Baby Boom,” and “Reggae Cowboy” and “Crazy From The Heart”, play The Yates Theatre. The show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $65.

First up, boogie woogie for Streets Alive at a special fundraising concert at Southminster United Church, Wednesday, May 8. Diane Lines celebrates swing, boogie woogie and jump blues in her show  “Jump”. It begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 with all proceeds going to support the Streets Alive mission.

Coda play The Piggy Stock fundraiser for Streets Alive this weekend. Photo by RiStock Fundraiser for Streets Alive this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery It is one of two fundraisers for Streets Alive, as local bands  local blues rock band CODA, classic rock band Good Time Charlie , Horizon and Continuum play the first annual Piggy Stock Roast Pig dinner and dance. The licensed and catered  event is at the Polish Canadian Club beginning at 5 p.m.. Tickets are $40 for adults, $15 for children under 15. They will be taking donations of food and clothing for Streets Alive.

Also on Wednesday, The May edition of the Windy City Opry features B.C. songwriter Dennis Bouwman, Calgary alt country musician Jess Knights and bluegrass/ country group the Local Group performing at the Slice at 8 p.m. sharp. As always, admission is $10.
Average Joes goes rap on Thursday, May 9 with  Odin and Evolution’s Firestarter tour featuring Alberta rappers Odin and Evolution with Craigles O’Grady, Crisko, Kropp Hopper and Chad L.A. McGhie. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10.
 It is all about rock for the weekend. Biloxi Parish, plus Medicine Hat alternative rock band Old Youth and indie rock band the Northern Coast playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, May 10.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 May 2019 08:40 ) Read more...

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden opens for year with kites and sumo wrestling planned

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Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens opens for the season, Friday, May 3 with a lot of fun activities planned for the year including everything from Sumo Wrestling to kite flying and yoga.The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden has opened for the season. Photo by Richard Amery
“Because it’s a federal and municipal park, we can’t make any physical changes, but what we have done is increased our programming and creative, collaborative, cultural experiences,” summarized executive director Michelle Day.

 There are many regular events including  the Yoga experience, Yukata Shimatsu on weekends, reflexology, Nodate open tea services, a special board game night Go Fridays,where participants play the popular Japanese game Go, Okinawa Doughnuts, Sunset Sake and specialty tours.

The first big event is this weekend, May 4 and 5. “Let’s Go Fly A Kite,” coincides with the popular Japanese Children’s day holiday.
 Participants will learn how to build their own kites and fly them.

 Local taiko drummers will open the day at 1 p.m. while kite expert Dan Guick shows off his kite collection and gives a flying demonstration.
 Locally made Okinawa donuts will be available in the visitors centre. And  after getting your fill, build and fly your own kite beginning at 2 p.m.
Next weekend, the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden  features a a special Mother’s Day Tea, May 16.

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 May 2019 16:27 ) Read more...

Heron and Bort bring the heavy to a Wednesday night

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Things got loud at the Slice, Wednesday, April 24.

A decent Wednesday night crowd was on hand for The Rainbow Patrol and Vancouver bands Heron and Bort. local band Monolith wasn’t able to make it.
 Heron borrowed Bort’s drum kit and amp stack. Bort playing the Slice, April 24. Photo by Richard Amery

There was nary a bassist in sight as the two guitarists, including one of them playing a seven string,  layed down super heavy, gloomy, Black Sabbathy, sludgy, massively detuned depressing riffs that could only come out of a depressing, endless rainy winter of their Vancouver home.
 The vocalist howled and growled his death metal best punctuating  it with the occasional blood curdling shriek.

He thanked the audience of approximately  30  for “coming out on a Wednesday to hear bands you’ve never heard of before,” before the band crashed into a song abut “ the  vastness of the universe and meaninglessness of life.” In addition to punishing riffs, they enhanced their set with sound effects of car crashes and news clips.

I was there to see Bort,whose CD I’d been playing on my radio show.

Heron playing the Slice, April 24. Photo by Richard Amery They had a more accessible, ’70s style heavy rock sound along the lines of Grand Funk Railroad and Foghat, with more modern influences like Monster Truck and Truckfighter, whose shirt the lead singer was sporting.

 They were a little more upbeat than Heron and even had a couple tasteful guitar solos to go along with the big riffs.
As a bonus, they even turned Tears For Fears’ ’80s pop classic “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” into a sludgy stoner rock anthem.

 They played behind a double stack of 4x20 cabinets, which were probably unnecessary for a room the size of the Slice, but surprisingly reined in the volume a little bit through their solid  set.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 May 2019 12:36 )

B.A. Johnston brings laughs and new songs on a Tuesday night

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There is something familiar and comforting about the unabashed weirdness that is Hamilton funnyman B.A. Johnston, who made his semi-annual return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Tuesday, April 23.

B.A. Johnston ending his show in the bathroom, April 23. Photo by Richard Amery
 He was, as he usually is, consistently entertaining. He cracked jokes about Medicine Hat , jumping off chairs, wandering into the audience and feeding them their own drinks, wandering behind the bar as laughing fans leaped over his microphone cord to feed bartender Brae a bottle of something pink, rolled around the floor like a deranged leprechaun, and, as usual, stripped off layers of identical “What Are you looking At Dickhead?” shirts. He joked you can buy them in bulk back home in Hamilton.

He scampered around the stage, poking at a Discman,  two  keyboards and a  trashed acoustic guitar to play the usual array of crowd favourites and sing alongs like “ Deep Fryer in My Bedroom,” “ How Many T Bone Steaks Can I Fit in my Pants: Can’t Stop Stealing From Work,” “Jesus Lives In Hamilton,”  and GST Cheques,” for which he had the crowd shouting along “Gimmie Some Treats.” He also played a song about a bad cat sitter and the always popular “Drive Through Beef,” about getting unwanted mayo on his fast food.

B.A. Johnston gets ready to leap off a chair, April 23. Photo by Richard Amery
 He played  several songs from his last CD “Gremlins 3,” including IKEA and “Too Messed up To be  in This Canoe,” but didn’t play my new favourite “A Day Off is a Day off.” He did wander outside the side door though.

 But he played a couple from his brand new CD “ The Skid is Hot Tonight including  instant crowd favourite “ We’re All Going to jail (Except For Pete, he’s Gonna Die), and “Jesus take tttthe Wheel.”, about driving to Medicine Hat on black ice.

BA Johnston oin the floor of the Owl, April 23. Photo by Richard Amery
But he quickly returned to classics like “ My Roommate is a Couche Tard” and plugged his new BELL Vibe TV show about Hamilton called Ham Jam.

 He even played a birthday request  of “The Squirrel Song,” and followed up with “The Best Day Ever : McDonalds Coupon Day.”
As usual, he ended up playing his last, last encore in the bathroom “I Want to Drink in a bar surrounded by Aliens.”

A two piece J Blissette featuring Jackson Tiefenbach wielding a Gibson Flying V and drummer Matthew Rederberg opened the show with a solid set of punk related music.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 May 2019 09:17 )

Snake River and Shirley and the Pyramids celebrate 4-20

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I missed a lot of the Owl Acoustic Lounge’s 4-20 party, but caught the end of Snake River’s set, Saturday April 20. Snake River returned to The Owl Acoustic Lounge for a 4-20 party, April 20. Photo by Richard Amery

They had expanded their ranks including adding a violinist since I last saw them and she was in the middle of a big jam with a 12 string guitarist, which ended their set.

Saskatoon’s Shirley and the Pyramids played a loud set of heavily distorted and layered guitar with just a touch of Stratocaster twang.

Shirley and the Pyramids werre at The Owl Acousitc Lounge for a 4-20 party, April 20. Photo by Richard Amery
They sounded like a heavier Dandy Warhols style indie rock, which pretty much drowned out their lead singer.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 May 2019 09:06 )
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