New Blog Announcement, And Why This Will Be My Last Post On MadeOfSteeltown..

It’s been a long time since I wrote on this blog. (Not since September of 2013.)
I haven’t been up to much, scene-wise.
I haven’t been going to shows, I haven’t been writing publicly, (electronically or
on paper), and I just generally haven’t been what you would call ‘around ‘in Hamilton.
Well, it’s time for my confession about why that is. I’ve made excuses before, but I want to finally tell the truth.
I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression, and Social Anxiety Disorder.
This is not an excuse to friends who wanted me at their show. I’m not trying to get pity.
I’m just tired of lying and excuses. Not to mention hiding what has affected me for so long.
(I have had these conditions since I was 17, but in September of last year, it got to the worst point.)
I’ve put a lot into trying to get better. Everything isn’t as good as it once was, but I’m working on it.
I just want any of the people I know who might read this to know that I appreciate and miss them.

Now, for the good news. I’m starting another blog here on wordpress. It will encompass what’s going on with me, some music-related content, and essays I’ve been writing.
The link is:
hellodaddyhellomomimyourcherrybomb.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading, and thanks for all the support you gave this blog.

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Review of Slamfest’s 2 Year Anniversary

*Note: I was not able to stay for the entire matinee. And I forgot my memory card, so I have no pictures to link to.

A lot can happen in two years. Companies can form, people can start a life together, families can grow.
But on Sunday July 28th, 2 years was marked as an anniversary for Hammer City Records and their Sunday Slamfest matinees.
Always 4 or 5 great bands at an awesome price, Sunday Slamfest has been giving Punk Rockers in Hamilton somewhere to go at the end of every month for 2 years now.
I attended this past Slamfest and it was fantastic as always.
Before I dive into my quick review, I want to thank Craig and Leah, the staff at Hammer City Records, Jaime Problem, and everyone at This Ain’t Hollywood. They all do such amazing work.

1st Band: Sketchbooks.

Sketchbooks is one of those bands that make my personal top 30, and I was really happy to see them. (Before, I had only heard their mp3s.)
Their live set only adds to the experience if you’re a fan. Their set ignited the place. Fast, ferocious, fuzzy Hardcore blared out at me from the band and it was awesome.
Adding to the set was that the singer stood in the pit and let people join in. In my opinion, that’s important. Let your fans join you, and you’ll only see good results.

10 out of 10.

2nd Band: System System.

System System were a completely new band to me. I had never heard anything by them, so it was a nice surprise to see and hear this great band that reminded me of 80’s Hardcore.
The whole band worked as a great unit, playing hard and furious.
My only complaint is I had some problems understanding the lyrics, but other than that their set was great.

9 out of 10.

Review Of Slender Loris’s World Tour (album)

Slender Loris is just one of those bands.
You can’t help but notice and like them. Whether it’s for their style, their politics, (see songs such as ‘H.S.T’ and
‘Christ Was A Guerilla Fighter’ on this album alone), or even the guys themselves; who are friendly as all get out.
World Tour, their second album released the month of their World Tour, (check slenderloris.bandcamp.com or the bands Facebook page for details on where the band will be.), is a spectacular band. It shows the bands growth since Goreos, while maintaining the Slender Loris sounds and ideals.

Track 1: Clear Plastic Bags.

Opening with a quiet primal scream, the band begins to sing ‘get the fuck of this place.’ It’s instrumentation, all gritty guitars and rhythm section; with the lyrics, puts you in mind of a road-trip.

Track 2: New Deal.

A song that swings back and forth between dead quiet and messy, full-band greatness; New Deal speaks of someone who never takes the blame that they are owed.

Track 3: Roadtrip with Lars.

Speaking of trust, Roadtrip with Lars is a Slender Loris classic. Loud instruments, drastic changes in vocals, and proclamations through-out the song.

Track 4: Contrafact.

This track is one where I admit I might be getting something out of the song that the band didn’t intend. You see,
Contrafact mentions running, the sky, nightmares, dead air, and vegetation. To me, it’s a song about the environment
and the consequences of not caring for it. That’s just my take though.

Track 5: SCkillaP

A rallying cry that repeats ‘Fight! Fight!’, this is easily one of Slender Loris’s more Punk Rock tracks. There
are these perfect breakdowns near the end, and the whole song comes together nicely.

Track 6: John 5 Has Too Many Telecasters.

This track begins with a primal drumbeat and leads into this gritty instrumentation. I have to admit, on this
track, I had a hard time understanding the lyrics. But the music is stunning.

Track 7: Milo < Plato.

On Goreos, we got the song Milo eats Plato. On World Tour, the story is continued. ('Spill the blood.')
The backing music is just right, building and weaning when needed.

Track 8: H.S.T.

Taken from Goreos, 'H.S.T' is a political track; speaking of the tax and the consequences that came from
combining the GST and PST. The music is a solid, rumbling undertone; letting the lyrics speak.

Track 9: Pots and Pans.

While a glorious wall of noise plays in the background, 'Pots and Pans' speaks repeatedly of defending yourself.

Track 10: Chemtrails.

Voicing their opinion on the much debated chemical trails, this track is dare I say it; bouncy. Sure it is noisy,
but it has a bouncy spring in it's step.

Track 11: Plug.

With a noisy melody, 'Plug' advises 'Pick Your Side/ Choose Wisely.' With the doo-das in the background, this is
like a Punk lullaby.

Track 12: (not as hardcore as) Dismantle.

The name kind of tells you what to expect with this one. Slender Loris are comparing themselves to the now
disbanded Dismantle and saying they're not as hardcore. The music beats away in the background, again letting the
lyrics speak for themselves.

Track 13: Abcab.

A track that could easily be moshed to, Abcab is, (I think) someone who has had too much to drink. I say this
because the lyrics repeat 'Down boy' and 'Dry it out'.

Track 14: Explicit Version/ Illegal Fire Times.

Beginning strong, then breaking down and going strong again; Illegal Fire Times is another political track. It's
one of those songs that can easily be chanted along to.

Track 15: Rupert Murdoch Is A Sensitive Man.

A song about getting together and changing things, Rupert Murdoch Is A Sensitive Man is a blazing song that makes
you think. The instrumentation matches nicely, blasting furiously.

Track 16: Christ Was A Guerilla Fighter.

Another track that could easily be moshed to, Christ Was A Guerilla Fighter talks about everyone being piled up.
(And more. I just found it hard to catch some of the lyrics.)

Track 17: Futilitarians Must Be Bored.

The heaviest song on World Tour, Futilitarians Must Be Bored is more hardcore than anything. I had trouble with
the lyrics on this one too.

You can download this album for free at http://slenderloris.bandcamp.com/album/world-tour.

*Note: I want to thank Slender Loris. They thanked in their World Tour thank you's, and I am flattered.
Thanks Slender Loris for making such great music!

The 2012 Thunder Music Awards.

I think by now, most people who know me know two things:

1: I have a zine called Thunder.

2: Every year, I compile a list of what I personally think is the best in Ontario’s Punk and Alternative Rock. Whoever wins gets my unwavering support and some kind of candy in a golden wrapper to mark the occasion. (If I had the money for actual trophies, the zine probably wouldn’t exist.)

This was a, pardon my language, a fu*king fantastic year for music in Ontario. Metal, Punk, and much more filled the clubs, streets, and headphones. Whether you were taking in a free show this summer at one of many festivals, or taking in a show in the colder weather, you were sure to be in awe. (I know I was.)

Now, a few things. I’ve added some new categories for this year; I allowed for more ties, and I vow to hand out the momentos. (So bug me if you don’t get your gold-encased chocolate.)

Best Album (Punk) Tie:

Adelleda ‘Let’s Talk About Adelleda’

Born Wrong/ Klein96 Split 10″

Best Album (Non-Punk) Tie:

Gatling ‘Beforemath’

The Barettas ‘The Night Is Young’

Best Album Not From This Decade:

UXB ‘Tick Tock Boom’

Best Bassist (Female): Lindsay Campbell Beaudoin. (Rackula.)

 

Best Bassist (Male): John “Uprise” Kedini.   (The Pre-Nods.)

 

Best Guitarist (Female):Candice Skullian.    (Skullians.)

 

Best Guitarist (Male): Brandon Kummer.     (Web Society.)

 

Best Drummer (Female): Justine Cowie.                                                                                                                                                                                        (The Boys.)

 

Best Drummer (Male): Alex Sallas.                                                                                                                                                                                                (Gatling.)

 

Best Vocalist (Female): Samantha Rutherford.                                                                                                                                                                            (The Boys.)

Best Vocalist (Male): Glen Faulman.                                                                                                                                                                                                (The Steeltown Spoilers.)

Best Musician Who Plays An Instrument Uncommon To Their Genre:

Female: Alisun (no last available) Band: The Saints Are Coming. Instrument: Violin.

Male: Jim Fitzgerald. Band: The Pre-Nods. Instrument: Harmonica.

Best ‘Intense’ Performer: Nathan Ivanco. Band: NOT.

Best Duo: Frankie And Jimmy.

Best Band (All Members Under 25): NOT.

Best Band (That Sounds Like Another Decade): Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans.

Best Band (Mixed Gender): Skatalyst.

Best Band (All Members Over 25): The Steeltown Spoilers.

Best Band (Female-Led): Rackula.

Best Band (Male-Led): The Safety Collective.

Best Band (From Outside Of Hamilton): Armed And Hammered.

Best New Band: The Sketchbooks.

Best Band (Cover Band): The Krumones.

Best Band. (This Year. Period.): Web Society.

Best Song (Tie):

‘Champion’ Adelleda

‘Threat From The Deep’  Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans.

Best Band Name: Nothing Helper.

Best Album Name (Tie):

‘Lets Taco Boat Life’ NOT

‘Summertime Blues’ Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans

Best Solo Project (Tie):

Steve Hanson In Transit

Nathaniel Blizzard

Best Reunion:

Razor Eater.

Best Record Label (Tie):

Schizophrenic Records

Rebel Time Records

Best Event: Rebel Fest.

Best Way To Spend A Weekend: At a show.

Best Store (Punk Rock): Crash Landing.

Best Store (Non-Punk Rock): The Button Pushers.

Best Place For Rare Music (Tie):

Hammer City Records

Cheapies

Best Venue (Indoors): Crash Landing basement (R.I.P!)

Best Venue (Outdoors): Gage Park.

Best Festival (Tie):

It’s Your Festival (New Music Expo)

Burlington Sound Of Music

Best Venue Outside The City: The Horseshoe Tavern.

Best Idea: Zines Becoming Widespread Again.

 

Even though they did not win, I would like to thank the following bands/ artists. I’ve been listening to them all year, and I think they’re fantastic. I encourage everyone to check them out!

Stick and Bone

Nanochrist

Weekend Riot Club

T.V Freaks

Thunderdykes

Trampled By Turtles

The Cola Heads

The Stragglers

Paul Federici

Theatre Crisp

The Waterbodies

The Snips

Sondra Du Ville

Snakecharmer

Poison Spur

Gag Order

Bourbon DK

The Safety Collective

Slender Loris

Swords Of Texas

Sailboats Are White

Paper Lions

Senile Feline

Social Club No. 27

Ophelia Syndrome

Mean Tangerine

The Lucky Ones

Gabrielle Papillion

Emma Hill And Her Gentlemen Callers

Greasemarks

Devils Hotrod

Charlotte Cornfield

The Balconies

The Rebel Arms

Alert The Medic

Aetherborn

413s

Hold A Grudge

Nine Eleven

The Dinner Belles

Brixton Robbers (R.I.P!)

Jesse LeBourdais

Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra

Darcy Hepner Jazz Band

Problem Children

Hockey Teeth

Sexbeast

One Year Of Thunder.

*Note: This article contains mild sarcasm and my awful jokes.

**Note: The list below contains thank-yous. Aside from my family, the order was as people came into my mind. I did not include last names or anything that people might consider private. They know who they are, and what they have done to help.

It was a dark and stormy night…. (I actually don’t remember the weather.)

But about a year ago at night, I created a zine after some friends and family members encouraged me to. (I had been writing show reviews under the Notes section of my Fa*eb*ok account for some time, and they thought it would awesome to have some paper content. Especially those without a Fa*eb*ok account.)

I worked on the zine alone. It was handwritten.  I always made a quick cover from marker or pen. I always got copies done at the library. And my first interview was my brother.

Thunder, (the zine in discussion), has changed a lot.

I now type whatever part I write, because it looks a lot tidier. I work with a partner, and we take fan submissions so I’m no longer working on the zine alone. I have WAY more cover options. (Some people could argue the new covers are better, but I don’t think anyone understood my artistic vision. I mean, I did it in PEN and in a hurry. I am so creative and avant garde.)

The machine I was most thankful for this year was a printer of my own. It’s expensive at times, but great when it’s cold out and I can print at home.

By far, the most surprising thing I experienced this past year was the interviews. How many people wanted an interview; and continue to. How people said yes when I asked. (I even requested to attend the S.C.E.N.E Festival as Media and was accepted! But I got sick the night before and had to sadly cancel all my interviews.)

I met alot of fantastic people this year, and discovered more about the people and city I admire.

That’s why I want to take this time and say thank you. Below is a list of people who have been awesome to me this year. Whether they read the zine, offered praise and encouragement, visited this site, provided a soundtrack, or were an awesome family member/ friend/ reader/, I owe them EVERYTHING. The zine would not exist, I would not have readers, and I would not have motivation. So thank you to:

My Mom and Dad

My brother

My maternal Grandmother

Nathaniel

Sue and Crash

Craig and Leah

Glen and Jody

The members of Adelleda

The members of Web Society

The members of Rackula

The members of NOT

Erik and Nina

The members of The Rebel Arms

The members of Skullians

The members of Slender Loris

The members of Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans

The members of Gag Order

Cyndi

The members of Nanochrist

The member of Born Wrong

The members of Bourbon DK

The members of The Nailheads

The members of The Safety Collective

Rebel Time Records

Schizophrenic Records

Jenn

The members of Gatling

The members of The Pre-Nods

The members of At What Cost

Shonagh

Hailey

The members of Nothing Helper

Kelsey

Isabella

Mike

Molly

Bobby

Laura

Rodrigo

All my readers. The ones I never see. The ones who surf this site, and the ones who pick up a zine.

 

Thank you everyone. I look forward to a new year of writing, interviews, photography, exploring this great country, and meeting cool people.

If I’ve forgotten anyone, sorry!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review Of The Safety Collective & Web Society at Homegrown Hamilton.

*Note: I did a few things in one night, so I’ll be doing one of my rare combination reviews.

There are some nights in Hamilton. I don’t know where they’ll take me, and I’m glad they went that way.

I had one such night on the 12th.

After viewing artist Pat Bellamy’s latest collection at Hammer City Records, I headed to Homegrown Hamilton to see The Safety Collective and Web Society. (The poster had the show tagged as ‘2 bands, 3 hours of music’ or something along that line. So I was all for going.)

Along with a great show by the artist and the bands, I got a preview of a new zine, I tried my hand at bass, and stumbled on either the beginning or end of a secret show.

This was my night:

1st event: Viewing Pat Bellamy’s collection.

The style of Pat Bellamy, no matter the medium he chooses to expresses himself in, demands either a good long look or a couple of quick takes where you see something different each time.

The reason?  The art contains a lot. Little jokes. Great colours. Things we can relate to. And that’s just what I’m took away from it. As with all art, I’m sure others see different things from me, and I’m sure Pat himself has a completely different take as the actually creator of the collection.

The collection is fantastic, and I encourage everyone to see it before the next Art Crawl. It’s on display at Hammer City Records. (228 James St. North.)

2nd event: Seeing A Little Bit Of A Secret Show.

I won’t reveal the band, (it’s a secret), but I got to see the either the end or beginning of their show in the alleyway of Hammer City Records. While I obviously wish I could have seen more, it was really fun to stumble into something I hadn’t even been looking for. That’s what I think adventures are.

3rd Event: Receiving and reading the preview of Clusterbomb.

Along with being the drummer of Web Society, Stephen Petrina is also a great artist and has a fantastic way with words. He’s been talking about doing a zine for a while, and I’ve been waiting impatiently for a while.

Well, the preview for the zine finally got here. And let’s say I’m waiting impatiently again. For the first issue. (The preview was telling everyone what they could expect, some drawings, and the like.)  I think Clusterbomb is going to be good.

4th Event: Seeing The Bands.

This was the last part of my night, and I had expected it to be quiet and a sit-down kind of event. Not so, and that isn’t a bad thing.

1st Band: Web Society.

I’ve seen Web Society a fair number of times, and the best sets are always the ones where they mix things up.

The night of Art Crawl, the band had one of those sets. They gave one of the best performances I’ve seen them give. (Rivaled only by their hometown Stoney Creek show.) They played much of their ‘Gutter’ demo material, which I thought was awesome. (Those songs are my personal favorites of theirs.) And the three generally kicked ass through their words and instruments.

It’s not often I’ll give a show Historical status, but there you have it. Web Society had a set that I’ll keep in my Historical files. (Believe me, it’s a select few.)

10 out of 10.

 

2nd Band: The Safety Collective.

Lest anyone get the wrong idea, The Safety Collective was not to be out-done.

Singer Stephen James Hanson was sick, but he played awesomely to the end of the set. The other two band members were no slack-a*ses either. The drummer broke out a mini hip-hop set, and the bass player was lightning quick and capable when it came to switching between all three instruments.

And that’s what I think the band’s two strengths are. Switching, and social activism.

They change instruments regularly. They mix genres.  All the vocal stylings are different. But in-between songs, and the songs content themselves, talk about either our city or world; and what can be done to make it better.

But if two things also remain the same for The Safety Collective, it’s that they seem to put their fans enjoyment and knowledge first.

I’m giving this set a Historical stamp too. I’ve never seen live hip-hop before, I’m all for a good cause, and I love awesome music.

10 out of 10.

 

Review Of Destroy Music/ Imants Krumins Day.

(*Note: Some items in this article are meant for humor. They are intended for that purpose and that alone. They, and all other material, are covered under section 2 B of the Canadian Charter Of Rights and Freedoms.)

(**Note: Unfortunately, I missed the first band of the evening, which was the spectacular NOT. Sorry about that fellas!)

July 1st, 2012 was an epic day.

Music was destroyed. And rebuilt the way I and so many others have been waiting for.

A new issue of Thunder came out on paper. (Call me biased, but this was the best event of the day. It beat out ALL the celebrations. What country had a birthday again?)

The all-Hamilton compilation so many have been waiting for was finally released. (Yes, Brantford’s Nothing Helper. And yes Stoney Creek’s NOT.  I count all of you one of us.)

I’m divided as to what the most spectacular part of the day and night were.

On one hand, of course the music. It featured a boatload of bands that are my personal favorites, and the style variations were phenomenal. Hangman Pinata’s Jazz-infused Punk to the Krumones reinvention of classic Ramones tones? (And’s that’s just one example of the evening.)Stunning.

On the other, getting to be a part of something so amazing while it’s happening. I used to read, and still do, about Punk Rock when it began. And I wished I could have been a part of what took place.

When I go to an event like this and have so much fun with my friends like I did, I feel like we are in the midst of what’s happening’s for Punk in this great city.

1st Band I Saw: The Pre-Nods.

There is small minority of people within the Punk community, (and let’s face it we all know at least one), who say that ‘Punk Is Dead.’ (Despite being involved with it themselves, and there being Punk bands today.)

I would invite anybody who believes that statement to come see a Pre-Nods show. Especially when they are in a fantastic mode of playing, like Canada Day.

With the Pre-Nods, you can not only see Punk is alive and well. You can hear it too.

10 out of 10.

2nd Band: Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans.

Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans frontman Erik Begg often jokes he is getting older and losing his memory. (He turned 40 earlier this year.) A lot of the time, we as an audience joke back with him, and know it is just that.

But I think Mr! Erik has talked himself into having some of his symptoms, because on Canada Day, he forgot two important elements of the usual performance.

1: Tiny Red Human and Tiny Blue Human.

2: The stage.

Instead, Mr! Erik performed an acoustic set outside.

Early memory loss aside, the set was superb. It was nice to get outside and see something different. (The Tiny Humans are more recent additions to the Wiggler!?! music project.) There was plenty of singing along, prompted or not. So it was a lot of fun.

10 out of 10.

3rd Band: Steeltown Spoilers.

One of the bands that could get me on my feet, (and pirating the stage for ‘I Love Livin’ In The City’) even if I had smallpox.

The Spoilers haven’t been playing a lot of late, so it was awesome to see them again. What made it that much better was that they had new material, as political and Hamilton as any fan would expect.

There was some small, but admirable; mosh pits going while The Spoilers played. Which tells me I wasn’t the only one happy to see the band onstage again.

10 out of 10.

4th Band: Hangman Pinata.

I hadn’t seen Hangman Pinata in quite some time, so when I heard that they would be playing the Destroy Music release party, I was ecstatic.

They are one of the most original bands coming out of Hamilton, (combining Jazz, Hard-Core Punk, and Ska to great effect), and while nothing can ever recreate ‘that moment’ when you first see a great band live; Hangman Pinata nearly did just that.

Their set was fantastic. They played their music well, it was original, and it was good as the first round.

No wonder people talk about them so much.

10 out of 10.

5th Band: Nothing Helper.

While TECHNICALLY not a Hamilton band, (they are from Brantford), I consider Nothing Helper one of us.

They share our humor. They share our love of Punk. And the music backing their lyrics sounds as good as any Hamiltonian could produce on bass, drums, or guitar.

As much I love the music though, I have to love the lyrics and show that accompany a Nothing Helper set. Wackiness ensues, and I’m clapping and laughing at the same time.

It really is the mark of true showmanship when you not only get a set. You get a show.

10 out of 10.

6th Band: Rackula.

I can’t count how many times I have seen this marvelous, all-female Punk band.

But every time, I walk away from the set thinking how great they were.

Their Canada Day performance was splendid, as they broke out a ton of their old songs, and their newer material.

What I thought was really cool was to see all the young guys, listening to Rackula’s brand of Punk. (Which includes a feminist message.) It’s always good to have a message, but it’s even better to have people who listen and cheer it on.

10 out of 10.

7th Band: T.V Freaks.

T.V Freaks…. T.V Freaks…. T.V Freaks….

This is a band that leaves my music-loving ears ever divided.

I LOVE their sound. It’s very raw, it’s very early Punk, and it captures the city in it’s sound somehow.

But the onstage antics Canada Day? (Shivers and claps at the same time.)

First came the remarks about male organs. I don’t need to hear how you would like to have a bigger…. appendage. Humor and antics are fine, but it’s the wording that gets me.

The redeeming moment? When the T.V Freaks frontman climbed on one of the amps. This was a moment of sheer brilliance, and reminded me of Teenage Head’s late Frankie Venom.

When all is said and done; I see a lot for the T.V Freaks. If they could cut SOME of the R-rated stuff.

9 out of 10.

8th Band: The Krumones.

I have never attended a full tribute set. (A lot of bands I see will play covers. But they will be by various artists.)

The Krumones were the first, full tribute band I had ever seen. Mercifully, they did a spectacular job. (You hear horror stories about these things.)

The keys, I think, to the band’s successful set was that:

1: They didn’t dress up like anyone in the Ramones. If they had, I would have jumped out the nearest window.

2: They didn’t perform all the obvious songs. I appreciated this, because it led to some new favorites.

The Krumones got a great reaction. People were dancing, people were singing along, and people looked liked they were having the time of their lives.

I would love to see the Krumones again.

10 out of 10.