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Fundraisers among highlights of slow start to December

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The first week of December is a rare slow week for live music, but it is still marked by a couple of early week highlights. Kingston born, Montreal based Celtic punks the Mahones make a long awaited return to the Slice on Wednesday, Dec. 2 in support of  their new CDs Accalia release their new EP this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery“ the Hunger and the Fight Parts One and Two.
 They are sure to play plenty of other favourites drawn for their 25 year career like “Drunken Lazy Bastard,” “the Queen and Tequila” “A Great Night on the Lash,” “Paint the Town Red” and much more. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 

The same night, New Zealand born, Golden based singer songwriter Benjamin Caldwell returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge.
Even the weekend is fairly low key, but there are some excellent  Saturday night shows.
Local progressive metal band Accalia have a CD release party, Dec. 5 at Inferno with Quick Draw and Caste of Shadows. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the music beginning at 8:30 p.m. There is a five dollar cover.

 Also in the heavier, faster vein, there will be a big fundraiser for Streets Alive, Dec 5 at the Eagles Hall with a bevy of local metal and hard rock bands performing beginning at  6:30 p.m.

Performers at the “Holiday Mash-Up” include Lethbridge pop punk/ hardcore band the Youngbloods, Calgary pop punk/ rock band White Chocolate Thunder, Lethbridge singer Stephanie Savage, Friends Over Fame, pop punk band Open 24-7, Kris Goodfellow, Eli Whit and banjo picking  former member of the Sophmore Jakes’ Ryland Moranz. Tickets are $10 in advance from any of the band members or $15 at the door.


Dead South will help relive South Country Fair memories

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Dead South frontman Nate Hilts at South Country Fair. Photo by Richard AmeryIf you missed them at the South Country Fair, don’t miss the Dead South’s Lethbridge debut, Dec. 5 at the Hungarian Canadian hall next to the old firehall (410 2 Ave S) where they will be playing promoter Lorinda Peel’s belated birthday party.

 The Regina bluegrass band have had an exciting year which included a lot of touring in support of their 2014 CD “Good Company, ” their fourth successful European Tour  and a video for “ Honey You” which has been picked up by CMT.

“We’ve been putting a lot of work into it, so I’m glad people are starting to notice,” said Dead South frontman Nate Hilts, who along with mandolinist / guitarist Scott Pringle, banjo player Colton Crawford and cellist Danny Kenyon, make up the Dead South.

 A new fan of the band is Tom Cochrane, who was  at their Nov. 24 Toronto show.
“We were very tired. We had just go off the plane from Europe and he was there. He said he wanted to hang out, which was pretty cool,” Hilts said, noting right after that they had to  board another plane  home to Regina to play the Agribition.

He said the European tour, which included stops in The Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic, was the best yet.
“The first time someone from Germany said they liked us , it blew me away. And now, to have 200-250 people at the shows is a pretty amazing feeling,” he said.
 He is looking forward to the band’s first visit to Lethbridge. This summer, they stole the show on the East stage at South Country Fair.


Moon Tan to play Rush inspired progressive rock in Lethbridge

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Winnipeg progressive rock/ funk trio Moon Tan are out for some fun on a Monday night when they return to the Slice, Dec. 7 with Moose Jaw’s  Johnny 2 Fingers and the Deformities and local rock trio the Supervoid.

Moon Tan return to Lethbridge, Dec. 7. Photo by Mike Sudoma photography
 They are not only supporting a new video for  their cover of  the Rush hit “Spirit of Radio,” to be released on Monday, Nov. 30, but they get to tour with their friends  from moose Jaw, Johnny Two Fingers and the Deformities.

“We’ve been  friends with them for a long time. We met and found we meshed musically so we talked abut touring  together and  finally our schedules allowed us to do a week long tour,” said Moon Tan drummer Nicholas Kula.

“ And it worked out really well with the release of the video,” he continued. He said while the trio has diverse influences, they share Rush as the common influence.
“ We have a quasi-progressive rock influence, but Rush is a big influence on all three of us,” he said.
 He noted they did a video of Moon Tan covering Black Sabbath’s “Supernaut,”  which was an immediate Youtube fan favourite, so they thought they’d do the same for  Rush.


The Mahones hunger for bringing the Celtic punk fight for 25 years and counting

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It has been about three years and three albums since Kingston born, Montreal based Celtic punks the Mahones visited Lethbridge, but they are excited to finally return to the Slice, Dec. 2 in support of their latest album “The Hunger and the Fight (Part 2), the second half of a punk rock concept album about Ireland, Irish music and the Mahones.

The Mahones’ Finny and Katie mcConnell playing Lethbridge a few years ago. Photo by Richard Amery
“I think those are some of the best songs I’ve written. It’s our masterpiece,” said Mahones frontman Finny McConnell, who is excited to finally return to Lethbridge with band mates Katie “Kaboom” McConnell on accordion and vocals, Dominique Whelan on drums, Michael O’Grady on tin whistle, Sean Winter on banjo, mandolin and accordion and Sean Riot Ryan on bass.

“The first one is more acoustic and traditional and there are covers of Stiff Little Fingers and Thin Lizzy on It. The second is electric. I was looking at Ireland and New York, which is where you’ll find the greatest number of Irish people,”  the Dublin born McConnell said adding his lyrics explore important event in Irish history, famous Irish people and much more.
“We released it in two parts so people wouldn’t have to listen to  24 songs straight in two hours. Unless they want to,” he said.

“It’s a really very positive CD. We have a very positive message. We want to give people a positive boost. Of course there’s a song called ‘Fuck You’ on it, but it is about giving the finger to bad people and corrupt politicians. So it is positive that way,” he continued.
“We’re a very progressively minded and egalitarian band. We believe in power to the people,” he said.

“After 25 years and 15 albums there’s nothing left for us to do than release a double concept album,” he said, adding that doesn’t mean the band will quit anytime soon.
“ You know me, I’ll make it work. I want to be in the 50/ 60 year club like the Who and the Rolling Stones and the Irish Rovers. I wouldn’t want to do anything else,” he said.
 The project features a lot of special guests as usual including members of the Tossers, Joydrop and Simon Townsend of the Who.

“We have lots of guests. We usually do and it’s usually my idea, so I’m usually the one who tracks them down and asks them. Most of them are my friends anyway and I’ll play on their albums too. Nine out of 10 times they’ll say yes. Sometimes it’s ‘you're an Irish  punk band and I’m a blues singer, I don’t know.’ But that’s why I asked you,” he said.


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

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