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L.A. Beat


The L.A. Beat

Scenic Route to Alaska make the sound of the Prairies

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Edmonton  folk rock trio trio Scenic Route to Alaska sound like the Prairies.Scenic Route to Alaska take the scenic route to Lethbridge this weekend. Photo submitted

  Even  frontman Trevor Mann doesn’t know what that means, but they will show audiences  at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, April 18.
“ We’re not good at labeling ourselves. But we were in Winnipeg and somebody came up and said, you guys sound like the Prairies. You sound like where you come from. I don’t know what that means, but we’ll take it,” Mann said, waking up from a nap in the back seat of the band’s van on the way back from Jasper.

“ It’s funny how each province has their own sound. We played with a Toronto band, and you can hear it,” he continued.  I supposed you could call us indie- folk rock,” he said adding the band includes life long friends, bassist Murray Wood, who Mann has known since he was five and drummer Shea Connor, who he has known since he was 11.
They are going to tour Germany in May, but before that they are hoping for a good show in Lethbridge.

“ We were first there two years ago, but it was just me and  the drummer. It was at the Slice on a Monday night and the place definitely wasn’t bouncing,” he said.
 “But now our bass player is back with us,” he said.


Good week of music for fundraisers

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The Geomatic Attic has a busy week of shows, but none of them are actually at the Attic.Julian Austin returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 First up are two big fundraising concerts for the U of L Global Drums. The first is a dinner at the Mocha Cabana, April 14 featuring Vancouver rockabilly trio Cousin Harley and Ottawa blues rock trio MonkeyJunk. Doors open at 5 p.m. Dinner is served at 6 p.m and the show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $82.50.

If you missed that, the two groups will be playing an evening show at the German Canadian Club, April 15. Tickets for that show cost $42.50.

 The Geomatic Attic continue their University of Lethbridge series, April 18 with Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland aka husband/ wife folk/country/ rock duo Whitehorse. That show is almost sold out. Their latest CD “Leave No Bridge Unburned is doing well with singles “ Downtown” and “ Baby What’s Wrong” doing well on the chart.

 That show is competing with another very popular event at the Slice- The annual South Country Fair Songwriting Contest finals.
A panel of judges will choose the best newcomer and best seasoned pro’s song, submitted from songwriters from all over Alberta. The winners get to play their song during the Fair on the South Stage. The finalists are Jolaine Kelly, Tyra Whitson, Andrew Scott, Laurie Anne Fuhr, Leanna Copithorne, Chris Gheran, Michael Granzow, Cathy Hawley, George Arsene, Derek Hrynyk, Robb Moss and Rob Lagace.
There is no charge to attend the finals, which begin at 7 p.m.

The Slice hosts a fundraiser for the Heliocentric  Radio Theatre Workshop on CKXU, April 17 featuring the music of the Ruby Plumes and Johnny G and the Spots. This is a new group which will be performing original radio plays on CKXU beginning in September. There is a seven dollar cover for the show.

April 18 will be a busy night with a lot of variety as there is also an excellent punk/ metal show at Inferno featuring Calgary  hardcore metal band Stab Twist Pull plus Medicine Hat’s Morbidly Depraved, Calgary metal duo Perception of Pain and local metal band the Avulsion. Admission is $10 at the door.

 There's no music, but  a whole lot of fun happening at the Bill Kergan Centre, April 18 where Rock Paper Scissors players will be lending a hand or two to the Lethbridge Association for Community Living. Rock Scissors paper players will be competing for a $250 cash prize for first place and  cash prizes for second and third place.


B.A. Johnston promises new sweaters, songs, jokes and no punching at Lethbridge show

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B.A. Johnston may not be able to read a calendar, but he sure can put on a good show.
 He returns to Lethbridge, Tuesday, April 21 after rescheduling a show which was supposed to be on Thursday, April 23 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge with local punk trio Advertisement and Internet Love.B.A Johnston and his people in Lethbridge. Photo by Richard Amery

“ I can’t read a calendar,” he said from Victoria, in the middle of the tour for his latest CD, “ Shit Sucks.”.
 “ I double booked myself,” he said.

 “ Thursdays are better usually, but whatever,” he said adding despite the bad press Lethbridge has received due to Marilyn Manson getting punched at Denny’s after his April 4 concert, he looks forward to playing Lethbridge.

“ That feels like the sort of thing that would happen in Medicine Hat, not Lethbridge,” he deadpanned.

Making fun of the town he plays in and neighbouring/ competing towns is as much part of B.A. Johnston’s show as is his self deprecating humour and quirky, original battered guitar and keyboard powered songs about fast food, McDonald’s Coupon day,  the deep fryer in his basement, douchebag doormen, zombies and life's little foibles.

“I better not go to Denny’s, I might get punched. But it’s certainly become a big story. I don’t know what happened. Some say Marilyn was being a jerk, others says the other guy was,” he said adding sometimes people want to fight him at his shows.

“ I’ve had people who want to start something. Especially in Prince Edward Island. They can be hillbillies there. I just avoid them though,” he said adding he enjoys Lethbridge.

“ Other than my show where the guy almost died, audiences are usually well behaved there. They listen. They buy CDs and T-Shirts. They’re a good T-shirt audience. And they smell nicer,” he said referring to a show at Henotic a few years ago where one of the patrons put his hand through a glass and wire window.

He said the tour has gone well as has response to the new album.


Whitehorse enjoying touring as a family

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Whitehorse has become even more of a family affair.
 Husband and wife multi-instrumental duo Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland merged their successful solo careers a couple years ago and have been enjoying increasingly successful tours ever since.
 The Hamilton based musicians recently returned from an American tour in support of their most recent CD “ Leave No Bridge Unburned” and will be stopping by the University Of Lethbridge Theatre, April 18 to play an almWhitehorse return to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Ameryost sold out show for the Geomatic Attic.

“ Don’t worry if you hear a small child crying, it’s our eight month old son  Jimmy,” advised Luke Doucet, disembarking  from a ferry from Vancouver in Victoria, where they are beginning the Canadian leg of the current tour.

“We actually have two children on the tour. My 18-year-old daughter Chloe is  babysitting for Jimmy,” he said adding bringing the family along has added  a few more logistical challenges.
“ We don’t have any drives longer than four hours, so we’re actually playing more dates on this tour,” he said.

“ It’s gone great actually,” he said adding they couldn’t have done this tour or the Whitehorse  project without the assistance and guidance of  their record label Six Shooter Records.
“ We both had successful solo careers, so we didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t want to start from square one again. I don’t know what people expected. i think we sound better together. I know I sound better with Melissa, though some people might say Melissa sounds a lot better without that guy,” he chuckled.
 The duo play a variety of different instruments on stage, loop different riffs and sounds.


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About L.A. Beat

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

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