JUNE 9: Canadian Power Metallers STRIKER

Canadian (Edmonton) power metallers STRIKER, will be kicking off their Canadian tour in Toronto on June 9th at The Garrison. I took a quick look at their online presence and was impressed by how busy they’ve been. STRIKER has also been nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award for ‘Metal/Hard Rock Artist of The Year’, the results of which will be announced in October, 2016.

GET TO THE GARRISON! https://www.facebook.com/events/1139997849396057 

If you’ve been reading my past articles, you’ll have seen that I’m not easily impressed with indie musicians. I search and search for something new and exciting and occasionally I find something, but more often I’m disappointed. Listening to STRIKER initially had me shaking my head thinking to myself, wow, they are just copying hair metal from the 80’s, but I listened for longer than 30 seconds and it raised my eyebrows. These guys have my attention.

I found their entire new album ‘Stand In The Fire’ on Youtube (posted by a fan, which can’t be good for music sales) and listened to the whole thing. I often complain about a band not having “found their voice” and having a lack of originality, but STRIKER has certainly found their voice. Bands often say “we are unapologetic” (gawd I get tired of reading that), but those bands don’t know what unapologetic means. What it really means is, when you play from your heart and soul and you’re real and don’t hestitate, than there’s nothing to apologize for. STRIKER’s got that. They play smooth. They are not posing. They’ve obviously played long and hard together because they’re tight and together as a unit. There’s a ton of energy in their music. An energy that, sometimes, is a little hard for the ear to take in the way this particular album is produced, but I can tell that they will be amazing live in Toronto on June 9th.

STRIKER says they are inspired by legendary bands like Iron Maiden. Their Facebook page says they are a “New Wave of Heavy Metal”, and I believe them. They are new. There is something next generation about them. It sounds like hair metal, but then there is the double pedal on the drums. It’s more hardcore. Then they throw in a saxophone, just to confuse you. I love these guys.

 

STRIKER Poster

I liked them so much, I brought them to the attention of musician/filmmaker Aaron Peters, who has started a new “thing” at his production studio in Winnipeg called ‘Drum Rides’. Peters makes videos of drummers playing on a riser that spins. The video affect is pretty cool and the drummers have a riot making them. The video creates some fun content for Facebook. I told Peters he should check out STRIKER. After they play in Toronto (June 9th), they’ll be in Ottawa (11th), Montreal (12th), Quebec City (13th), Sudbury (15th), Thunder Bay (16th) and will land in Winnipeg on June 17th before returning to their home town Edmonton (24th). I suggested Peters invite them for a Drum Ride during their stop in Winnipeg.

Peters listened to the album posted on Youtube that I shared with him and initially didn’t seem very impressed. Then he listened longer, and by the end of the album, had this to say about STRIKER,

“At the risk of sounding like an old bastard, I’d like to say that it would be super killer to hear STRIKER recorded in a way that harkened back to analog. Or at least an approximated approach to that sound. STRIKER kick all kinds of ass. I highly recommend this band and any recording they put out. I am actually proud that STRIKER are a Canadian band. They do us proud by carrying the metal flag like this.” Aaron Peters

I kid you not, that’s what he wrote to me. I was astonished. I like STRIKER, too, but never expected that response from a seasoned rock musician.

Peters has invited STRIKER to his studio during their stop in Winnipeg. There will be a ‘drum ride’ video to follow.

The band; Dan Clearly (vocals) Tim Brown (lead/rhythm guitars) William Wallace (bass) Adam Brown (drums) recorded the album themselves with the help of Randy Black (who filled in on drums while Adam was away. Frederik Nordstrom (Bring Me The Horizon, In Flames, Opeth) mixed the album.

‘Stand in The Fire’ is available on limited edition orange vinyls at Striker-Metal.com plus digitally on iTunesCD Baby.

TORONTO’S ROCK PRINCESS JACQUELINE LOVELY

OhJustEatIt.ca has been taking on a bit of a theme lately. I’ve been looking at the rich history of this city. First, Toronto celebrated it’s 182nd birthday, then the historic Brunny closed it’s doors.

20150821_225251A special gem in this city is rock princess  JACQUELINE LOVELY PERRAS. Jacqueline has been a rich part of Toronto’s music scene since the 80’s. Today is her birthday.

Jacqueline recently shared some tracks from her new album that she’s working on in studio now. She is self-producing the album and plans to release the 14 tracks “just before the fall equinox”. I listened to “You Will Remember Me”, “Unchained”, and then two tracks written by Karm Kleaver (of Toronto metal band Kraken) “Harlot of Babylon” and “Powerhouse”.

Jacqueline is well known for her rough rock-chick voice that works perfectly on Janis Joplin or AC/DC covers. In this album, Jacqueline shows the strength of her range and a softer side of herself.

“This is an introduction to me as a singer and a person. I’m self-producing now so whatever this is….rest assured it’s how I see myself…but I really want people to hear and feel what I feel.”

When Jacqueline is on stage, she often will talk between songs about her life and lessons learned. She’s very open about herself and feels she needs to share her stories. According to her, that’s what this new album is. Her story.

Today, her birthday, is all about her story. Happy birthday, Jacqueline. Rock on!

LYRIC DUBEE: Opening for LEE AARON Friday August 16

On Friday, I’m heading out once again to see one of my favourite Toronto indieLyric-Alive-Wallpaper-800x600 musicians, Lyric Dubee. The last time I saw Lyric was at his CD release party at Cava Lounge in Barrie. It was a great turn out at the new fancy Barrie bar and restaurant. Lyric’s good friend Virgil Scott was the MC. Jacqueline Lovely also sang with Lyric.

Later I heard that Lyric had joined a band called Revelation 17 with Jacqueline Lovely and they were booked to open for Lee Aaron at the Rockpile (Aug 16). Later I heard that they would also open for Holly Woods & Toronto (Aug 10).

So let me tell you what’s most interesting about this story. Lyric is 15. Continue reading LYRIC DUBEE: Opening for LEE AARON Friday August 16

Featured Toronto Live Music for July

July 19-28: Toronto Beaches International Jazz Festival
http://www.beachesjazz.com/

July 20-29: Toronto Jazz Festival
http://torontojazz.com/

July 19: Blind Race at Horseshoe Tavern (Rock/Metal)
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Blind-Race/7691919182
http://www.horseshoetavern.com/

July 19: Kristen Anzelc at The Brawley Restaurant (Pop/R&B)
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kristen-Anzelc/16976918833
http://www.thebrawley.com/

July 20: Kristen Anzelc at Dundas Square for Youth Day Toronto 6:30 pm (Pop/R&B)

July 20: Hollywood Sins, Social Strife, Stealing Patience & Rancid Ronnie at The Bovine Sex Club (Rock)
http://www.facebook.com/HollywoodSinsMusic
http://www.bovinesexclub.com/

July 20: SKROU at Sound Academy (Melodic Rock)
http://www.facebook.com/SKROUMUSIC
http://www.sound-academy.com/

July 22: Redsteps at The Drake Hotel (Folk-tinged rock’n’roll)
http://www.facebook.com/RedSteps
http://www.thedrakehotel.ca/

July 26: Lindi Ortega at Dundas Square (Alt Country/Roots/Rock/Folk)
http://www.facebook.com/lindiortegafans
http://www.ydsquare.ca/

July 27: Stacey Y at Harlem Restaurant (R&B/Pop/Rock/Neo-Soul)
http://www.facebook.com/staceyymusic
http://www.harlemrestaurant.com/

July 29: Greg Clarke & The Madvarks (hosting open mic) at Grossman’s Tavern (Rock & Roll)
http://www.madvarks.com/mvshows.htm
http://www.grossmanstavern.com

July 31: Dinosaur Bones at Edgefest13 Downsview Park (Rock)
http://www.facebook.com/dinosaurbonesband
http://www.edge.ca/edgefest/

Are There Any Trailblazers in Toronto?

By AARON PETERS

There are no grassroots trailblazers in Toronto when it comes to the music industry.

When I was growing up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, as a young singer songwriter I did the regular same old stuff that every musician does. I tried to start a band, I wrote songs, and I recorded demos. This is all pre-internet, pre-ProTools. I was renting analogue equipment from Long and McQuade to record my demos on cassette tape, because that’s how the technology was back then. But I did it, and I would always think to myself, “If I had a chance to do this, or this, or this, or this…’ I would dream. That’s what musician’s are, they’re dreamers. That’s what creative people are, they are dreamers. So I would dream. I would dream big. I would dream stuff like I wish I could make a music video for every song that I’ve ever written. And I’d dream up story lines to each song; each song’s video. Stuff like that. I’d dream a lot of things; I’d dream up movies about me. Y’know because of course I was gonna be the biggest thing since sliced bread, so they had to make a movie about me. And I dreamed about what that movie would be like. So there was a lot of dreaming going on when I first started writing songs in Winnipeg. And starting bands and getting fired from bands and kicking guys out of my bands, and getting ripped off by various bars and getting backstabbed by supposedly my friends. So a lot of stuff happens when you’re in a band, a lot of things happen in life. But when you’re in a band, it’s more of a drama magnet than anything else. Continue reading Are There Any Trailblazers in Toronto?