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L.A. Beat


February to rock with fundraisers

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February will basically rock.
 It started on Feb. 2 with the first fundraiser for the expanded Electric Eye Music festival, taking place May 7-9 at various venues around  downtown. The fundraiser featured the Married Men and Tropic Harbour at at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. Not much happens during the week, but things really cook on the weekend.The Lethbridge Symphony string quartet rehearse. Photo by Richard Amery

 An awesome double bill of Calgary rock band featuring Cowpuncher and Fernie stoke folkers Shred Kelly will tear apart the Slice, Feb. 6. Tickets are $25.

The Slice also has what is likely to be one of the loudest shows of the year as Edmonton power trio Tallest To Shortest featuring Sean Brewer, Mark Feduk and Cory Motz will rock the joint all night long with local band Touques and Beards on Feb. 7.

 Meanwhile the Owl Acoustic Lounge has an all local line up with rock band the  Juxtaposers playing, Feb. 6.
 Lethbridge blues duo Papa King and Scott Mezei will be boogieing until you all drop on Feb. 7.
Lethbridge classic rock mainstays the Chevelles return to their usual roost at Average Joes  to rock for the Lethbridge College LCSA Practical Nursing Grad committee, Feb. 7 as well.
They take the stage at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.

 Average Joes is also your laughter connection this week as they bring in Yuk Yuks comedians Kevin Stobo, Alan Cho and Patricia Cochlan.
 Looking ahead a week, the Owl Acoustic Lounge is now doing their comedy open mics twice a month, so the next one will be Feb. 11.

The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra has their biggest annual fundraiser on the weekend at CASA with the seventh annual Love Notes Gala. This year’s theme is the Phantom’s ball recalling the elegant setting of Phantom of the Opera. The event begins with a champagne  reception at 5:30 followed by a five course meal.  Opera singers will be performing  with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra. Guests are encouraged to dress for the period including Phantom of the Opera masks.


Cowpuncher to punch up their sound on next record

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Calgary based country turned indie rock band Cowpuncher and are back on the road with new music and a “punched up” sound.

“ We just finished recording a new album. We started recording it  in July. It’s mixed and mastered so now, all we need to do is figure out the album art,” said Cowpuncher  frontman/ acoustic guitarist Matt Olah taking a smoke break on the way to a show in RevelstoCowpuncher’s Matt Olah. Photo by Richard Ameryke, followed by another one in Kelowna.

The band also includes baritone guitarist  Ryan Kelly, drummer Jeff Sulima, electric guitarist Scott Martin and electric bassist Shari Rae.

 They will be playing a hot double bill with Shred Kelly at the Slice, Feb. 6.
 They are excited about the upcoming album.

“ It’s pretty heavy. It’s very much a rock and roll record. We punched up the sound. It’s a lot more rock and roll than the last one,” he said.

 We hired a  producer this time. He really took our sound and streamlined it and made it faster and harder,” he said.
“ We love it. We think it sounds great,” he said adding they played a couple of early versions of the new songs last time they were in Lethbridge.

“ This will be the first time Lethbridge will have heard these songs,” he continued.


Hometown Stars grows beyond Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life

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If you think you can sing then show it with Hometown Stars. The Lethbridge based performance competition began as a way to choose acts for the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual Relay of Life in Lethbridge, but has taken on a life of its own over the past two years during which it has attracted singers age 4-89 from Red Deer to  Trail B.C and a whole lot from Southern Alberta.Scott Paterson is excited about this year’s edition of Hometown Stars. Photo by Richard Amery

“This is the second year as Hometown Stars. It was different for six years. We wanted to round up people to perform sets at the Relay for Life,” said Hometown Stars Event Co-ordinator  Scott Paterson.

“ But it has branched out on it’s own,” he said.
“ It was hard to find spots for all of the performers at Relay For Life,” he said.

“ We’ve expanded the competition,” he said noting the finales were held at CASA  last year, but due to Hometown Stars’ increased popularity, it has been moved to the Yates this year.

 Auditions are ongoing in a variety of categories including “ Cover Star,” for  people over the age of 18 performing cover songs, “ Original Star” for  anyone performing an original song, “ Rising Star” for students under the age of 18 performing cover songs and “Junior Star” for students under the age of 13 performing cover songs.

There are also two band categories —  “ Band Cover Star” — a battle of the bands competition for any band performing a cover song and “ Band Original Stars”  for band who perform an original song.
A panel of judges including Dory Rossiter of CTV and the band Dory and the Weathermen, University of Lethbridge vocal instructor Alicia Bigras and singing instructor Andrea Ceron from Infunit Performing Arts Academy who replaces Miss Teen Lethbridge Brookelyn Fortier, will choose the winner.


January starting off slowly

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As expected, the first week of January is a little slow, however there are a couple of key shows happening.Mwansa Mwansa will be performing Spice Girls at Club Didi, Jan. 9. Photo by Richard Amery

The first big show is a free one at CASA featuring the J.A.M.A.N.I duo, newlyweds Matt and Jodi Groenheide playing a newlyweds concert of classical, world and popular music performed on a variety of percussion instruments plus flute and vibraphone. The concert begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 7. There is no cover for the show.

 The Lethbridge Folk Club not only has their first open mic of the year on Jan. 9 at the Wolf’s Den, but also have Calgary area roots and rockabilly band the Sadlier-Brown band playing the Cave at Lethbridge College, Jan. 10 with opener Jack Daniels. The show begins at 8 p.m. sharp. Tickets cost $25 for members, $30 for invited guests.

There is also a very cool show on Monday, Jan. 12 with Winnipeg folk punk Greg Rekus who stops by the Owl Acoustic Lounge en route to Hawaii on his  “Hawaii and Back” tour.
 The Owl Acoustic Lounge features Calgary indie rock/ synth pop band the Jamies on Jan. 10 and  some unusual rap and synth pop music with the Gray Area, Nickname and DJ Bmac on Jan. 9.
Club Didi has an interesting show on Jan. 9. They are presenting Homo Highness— The Spice Girls.
 The show features local performers and musicians including Mwansa Mwansa and Carisa Jayne burlesque  and  many others all performing their  renditions of Spice Girls hits. The show begins at 8 p.m. There is a $10 cover.

— by Richard Amery L.A. Beat Editor
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