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B.A. Johnston back with The Skid is Hot Tonight and Van Halen parody video

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Pete isn’t dead or in jail, according to Hamilton funnyman B.A, Johnston, who  returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Tuesday, April 23 with J Blissette in  support of his new CD “The Skid is Hot Tonight.”B.A. Johnston returns to The Owl Acoustic Lounge, Tuesday, April 23. Photo by Richard Amery
“Pete loves that song,” chuckled Johnston of the first single from the CD “We’re All Going to Jail (Except Pete, He’s Gonna Die), which also inspired a frame by frame re-creation of Van Halen’s “Jump” video.

“It’s not as good, because they have more money and we‘re older. But we painstakingly re-created every frame, but cut most of it,” he said.

“ But it features they guy who does my beats and the guy who does my album artwork, so it is nice to feature them,” he said, adding the song is partially based on a true story.

“Pete took too many magic mushrooms and thought security was chasing him. We lost him for a half hour. And he still thought security was chasing him, though I don’t think  they were,” he said.

It is a follow up to his last CD Gremlins 3.
“ That was like two years ago. Time flies. I have like 12 CDs out now,” he said, adding they will  probably only be playing three songs from the CD.
“I have a lot of ‘hits’ and people want to hear them. I know when I go see Iron Maiden and they mostly  play their new album, I don’t really like that,” he said, adding he is always writing.

“It’s a long CD. It’s 12 songs and 42 minutes long. So it‘s like a Grateful Dead album,” Johnston chuckled.


Ladies show they know how to rock for Easter weekend

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This week is all about the ladies and a little bit of rock and roll for Easter weekend.The Hockey Moms play one of several 4-20 parties ahppening this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery
But first, New West Theatre veterans Jeff Carlson, Greg Paskuski, Scott Carpenter, Jordana Kohn, Arlene Bedster, Andre Royer, Kelly Roberts and Erica Hunt perform their annual ’50s, ’60s and ’70s music comedy revue fundraiser for the NordBridge Centre during Old Favourites 7 at the Yates Theatre, April 16-18. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.Tickets are $35.

 The Slice starts things off heavy on a Wednesday with Vancouver hard rock band/ thrash/ death metal band Dead Asylum plus local bands  Chernoff and Revanchist. The show begins at 9 p.m.. Admission is $10.

 Then it is all about ladies who rock.
 Edmonton folk/ R and B songwriter Billie Zizi returns to the Slice, April 18 with her power trio.
It will indeed be a good Friday with several shows competing for that holiday dollar.
 Toronto indie rock band Ace of Wands plays the Slice with country band the Orchard and punk band J Blissette and dark folk band Makiisma.
 A little further down the line, The Slice has another big hard rock metal show, Wednesday, April 24 featuring the Decibel Worship tour featuring Vancouver’ bands Heron and Bort, Calgary doom metal band Monolith and the Rainbow Patrol. Admission is $10.
 Down the road at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, April 19, FLIPfest presents Calgary punk band the Shiverettes, who are touring in support of their new CD “Real Shrill Bitches.” They will be joined by Mombod and Wares. Admission is by donation.

 If you want to relive the ’80s, a couple of excellent tribute acts  Live Wire: the Motley Crüe experience and and the debut of Live Wire: The Def Leppard Experience featuring Kitty Chevelle. The show begins at 9 p.m. There is a $15 cover charge.
 And Honker’s Pub is closed for  Good Friday, so they are moving their usual Friday open mic to Thursday, April 18 with host Paul Kype.
They are open again on Saturday, April 20 for one of several 4/20 parties happening around the city.
 The Trippy Hippys host the afternoon open mic and 4-20 party at Honker’s Pub.

 The Slice is going hip hop for their 4-20 party with  the DJ Restrickted’ Rated R tour 420 mash up featuring Live Hip-Hop performances by:
The Psychonauts, JPB, HayZe, Tokey & Kid Killit, xRGx & Cliche and DJ Disko, plus host  F-Bomb and headliner DJ Restrickted who spins  hip hop, trap, dubstep, future bass and more. It will be hosted by Hosted by F-Bomb. Admission is $15.
Bang your head all day long at the Smokehouse. There is a metal matinee at 2 p.m. with Vancouver bands Of Artistry and Hawking and Vancouver Island’s Tama Hills, plus Calgary’s Gutter King and Widmore.  Doors open at 2 p.m. with the metal madness beginning at 3 p.m. sharp. Admission is $10 for this all ages gig.


Shiverettes run with feminest punk identity on Real Shrill Bitches

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Calgary’s Shiverettes have completely embraced their identity as a feminist punk band.

The Shiverettes return to Lethbridge this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery
The band, including Hayley Muir - vocals; Kaely Cormack - guitar and vocals; Cecilia Schlemm - bass and backup vocals and drummer Steve Richter, play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, April 19 for a FLIPfest presentation including  Mombod and Wares.

 They officially release their second album “Real Shrill Bitches” on April 18.

“We played FLIPfest  for the first time in 2017 and it’s pretty exciting to be back,” said guitarist/vocalist Kaely Cormack.

“We didn’t intend to write another feminist punk album, but there is a lot more to say,” she said, adding  the CD is a more cohesive affair.

“This is the first band three of us have been in. Now, we’re having a lot of fun and  ave got a lot more experience and we’re a lot more confident now,” Cormack said, adding her song “bumblebee” opens the CD, with a hot guitar riff  that sounded like a bumble bee.


Ace of Wands explore fierce side and mental health issues on new CD

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Toronto Indie rock/ pop band Ace of Wands are looking forward to a fierce show at the Slice in support of their debut CD “Lioness,” April 19.
Lead singer Lee Rose created a couple lioness masks which appear in two of the three videos they have created  for the CD including the title track as well as 10,000 Feet. Though  The idea didn’t happen in time for the first video “ Grown For Good.”

Ace of Wands return to Lethbridge this week. Photo by David Waldman and Mike Rocha
“We had just  finished shooting that video, but the mask wasn’t done in time for it but it would have fit,” said Rose, noting the CD deals with some heavy issues about her own battles with anxiety and depression.

 “Every song I write is very personal. And every song is very visual, like the videos. We have the song Lioness  which is about being full of anger that goes along with anxiety and depression and the masks  we wear to cover them. A lioness is full of anger and energy, but at the same time, a lioness has a strong nurturing, motherhood quality. The song inspired the imagery. I also made cheetah and cougar masks for the video,” she said.

“ We don’t perform with them, because that’s  difficult. But they usually find their way on stage as props,” she continued.

“Though we wore them for our CD release party, but took them off to perform,” she added.

“This  music is about my struggles with anxiety and depression. I’ve been in bands for all my adult  life. I was in a band with my brother and when that fell apart, I was as going through a period of depression and self reflection,” she said, adding meeting guitarist Anna Mernieks and drummer Jody  Brumell inspired her to form a new band after her previous band broke up in 2014.

“ I just loved Anna’s energy. She was backing Ron Hawkins on a tour in 2017,” she said adding they recruited popular session drummer Jody Brumell.

“He‘s such a great person and he just bashes his drums, so we’re very loud,” she said.

Rose‘s voice is reminiscent of Sarah McLaughlin.
“II’ve never heard that before. Usually we get compared a lot to PJ Harvey and Florence and the Machine. I’m also influenced a lot by Elliott Smith, because he writes really pop sounding songs, but his lyrics are really dark. But we also get compared to the Cranberries a lot,” she said.


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

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