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Lethbridge performers to bring original acts to Canadian Fringe festivals

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Fringe festivals provide an excellent opportunity for up and coming performers to build and present their own show from scratch and for experienced performers to try out new material. This summer Lethbridge performers will be well represented at fringe festivals across the country.Jeff Newman reads Brett Hutchinson's mind  to get ready for their appearance at  Fringe Festivals in Calgary and Edmonton this summer. photo by Richard Amery
Calgary born, Brett Hutchinson, a local stand up comedian and a member of Lethbridge improv group Drama Nutz, has put together a long form improv show based on the Choose Your Own Adventure books so many of us enjoyed in our youth for the Aug. 1-9 Calgary Fringe Festival with some friends he met while working with the Loose Moose Improv Theatre.

“ Me and three other high school friends have created a long form improv which we’re premiering at the Fringe this year,” he summarized.

Hutchinson and his friends and fellow Loose Moose Theatre alumni Quinn Contini, Mitch Belot and  Ellis Lalonde always loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books where readers choose the direction of the story by making a choices and being directed to a different page. As a result, they decided to build a show around the concept.

“ We’re all very childish adults and we all loved those Choose Your Own Adventure books,” Hutchinson laughed.
“ We thought Choose Your Own Adventure Books would make a great long form improv,” he said.

“ And it keeps us on our toes,” he said adding it will be fun to watch the audience helping create the story,” he continued.


Blues, comedy and rock and roll this week

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This is a great week for rock and roll music and punk.Jay Nowicki of the Perpetrators. Photo by Richard Amery


 Winnipeg blues rock trio the Perpetrators return to the Slice on Aug. 2 where they are sure to tear things up with gritty, Hound Dog Taylor style blues music. The show begins at 9 p.m. There is a $10 cover.


Also in the blues milieu, Kampukasing, Ontario based bluesman Al Lukas returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge Aug. 2. He blends elements of the blues, bluegrass, rock, pop, swing and soul music into his music. There is no cover for that show.


Punks won’t want to miss the big punk show at the Moose Hall, Aug. 2 where Calgary's Streetlight Saints plus Red Deer's Red City Drunk Punks and local punk stalwarts the Scallywags plus acoustic punk from Bob Scallywag and Taber's the Mangy Mutts. There is a $10 cover for the show, which begins at 9 p.m.


 If you want to hear some garage rock with a lot of pop added to it, don’t miss Vancouver's JPNSGIRLS who play the Slice, July 30.


 There is a rap and hip hop show at the Slice as well with Tru Apostle, Sam Mackey, The Grey Area and Chadley all performing, Aug. 1. There is a $10 cover for that show as well.


Streetlight Saints embrace the spirit of 1977 punk

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Calgary punk band Streetlight Saints have a love for all things 1977. While the members  haven’t been playing music that long, they have been in  bands going all the way back to the 1990s.

 Streetlight Saints play Lethbridge this week. Photo submitted

“We formed in 2012. We’re basically a throwback to  the 1977 punk sound,” said Streetlight Saints frontman Peter McLeod, who has played with bands like the Tartan Hearts and No Coast Hardcore, which he brought to Lethbridge numerous times several years ago.


The other band members include guitarist  Chris Schwartz (Steelheads, Knifedogs, Off the Rails and Berzerker AD) and new rhythm section including bassist Craig Weir (Chimp Change) and  drummer Fergie McLean (Conniving Cadavers and Ghost Factory).


“So we like things really stripped down. And the 1977 punk was strongly rooted in the working class so that lends itself to the lyrical content of our band,” McLeod said.


“We come  from a sub genre called street punk. We like audience interaction and we’re really high energy,” he said.

He noted the Calgary scene has changed a lot  since the mid ’90s.



JPNSGRLS to finish tour of exciting music in Lethbridge

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Vancouver indie rock band JPNSGRLS ( pronounced Japanese Girls) are neither Japanese nor girls but they are excited about their first  full length CD and finishing their current tour in Lethbridge, July 30 at the Slice.

 JPNSGRLS are playing Lethbridge this week. Photo by Tomas Uribe

“Lately we’ve been going by the monicker ‘high voltage garage pop.That means  that there is a lot of pop, but it is also very high energy. We like to have a lot of fun,” said frontman Charlie Kerr from Red Deer, mid-way through a tour in support of their new CD“ Circulation.”


“It’s just really fun music. We’re big fans of bands like the White Stripes and the Strokes and we also have a lot of love for bands like Led Zeppelin and Queens of the Stone Age, which is why we kind of sound like those bands,” he continued.


 The band has been together for six or seven years  ever since guitarist Oliver Mann noticed Charlie performing in a battle of the bands competition at one of the high schools.


 “It wasn’t his high school, but his band had just broken up so he coached me to be the lead singer of a new band he was starting. And we got  Chris (McLelland, bass) about five years ago,” Kerr continued. Drummer Graham  Serl completes the lineup.

“ That must have been five or six years ago.”


 They released a well received five song EP  called the “Sharkweek EP” in 2013 and just released  ”Circulation.”


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

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