Jason Collett

In late March we had an alumnus of the Toronto music collective Broken Social Scene pass through town. That would be Emily Haines, who currently fronts the Canadian rock group Metric. On Tuesday April 19 another former member of BSS plays Regina.

As a solo artist, Jason Collett has eight studio albums to his credit — the most recent being Song and Dance Man which was released in February. For some time now, he’s had a regular back-up band that has also released material of its own under the name Zeus.

Zeus will be performing with Collett on Tuesday, and the opening act will be Ontario singer-songwriter Kalle Mattson. The show goes at the Exchange, and tickets are $15 advance and $20 door.

To give you a sense of what Collett’s been up to lately here’s the video for the title track off his latest album:

The True Jive Pluckers

True Jive PluckersThis Pops concert is the second last of the Regina Symphony Orchestra’s 2015-16 season. It goes Saturday April 16 at Conexus Arts Centre and features the local trio The True Jive Pluckers composed of (from right to left in photo) Ed Minevich (violin), Stephen McLellan (bass) and Jack Semple (guitar) who will sit in with the regular symphony players to perform a mix of classical, blues, tango, gypsy, klezmer and jazz tunes.

The concert starts at 8 p.m., and ticket information is available on the RSO website.

Further to the Pops series, with new conductor Gordon Gerrard coming on board in 2016-17 to replace Victor Sawa, the RSO has decided to discontinue its annual Oscar tribute to movie music. Instead, it’s put together the following line-up of concerts:

Reimagining Broadway with Sarah Slean
October 22, 2016
Gordon Gerrard, conductor; Sarah Slean, vocals: Mike Janzen, vocals/piano/arranger; George Koller, bass and Davide Direnzo, drums.

A Celtic Tenor Christmas
December 3, 2016
Mélanie Léonard, conductor

Fifty Years of Bond…James Bond
February 18, 2017
Gordon Gerrard, conductor

Prairie Pops with Jeffery Straker
March 25, 2017
Gordon Gerrard, conductor; Jeffery Straker, singer-pianist; Connie Kaldor, special guest

Time for Three
May 6, 2017
Gordon Gerrard, conductor; Nikki Chooi, violin; Nicholas Kendall, violin and Ranaan Meyer, double bass

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage

I’m totally flying blind with this blog post on some multi-media performance that’s being held at Conexus Arts Centre on Friday April 15 — I even asked around the office a bit, but no one could shed any light on what the hell it might involve.

Going by the description on the CAC website, apparently there’s some famous TV and movie franchise that’s been kicking around for a few decades now and to commemorate some anniversary it’s having a production company called CineConcerts has assembled a live orchestra that will perform scores composed for the TV shows and movies coupled with iconic images and video from the franchise projected on a giant screen.

The performance on Friday gets going at 8 p.m., and here’s a promotional trailer for the show that maybe those who are more in the know than me and my Prairie Dog colleagues can glean some useful information from:

John Wort Hannan

John Wort Hannam was born on the Channel Island of Jersey in 1968, but he’s called Fort MacLeod, AB home for some time now. Over the course of his nearly 20 year career as a musician, he’s released six albums (the most recent being Love Lives On in October), picked up Juno and Canadian Folk Music Association awards in the traditional/folk category, and carved out a reputation for himself as a troubadour who tells stories of the west with the same flare as iconic prairie writers W.O. Mitchell and Sharon Butala.

On Wednesday April 13 John Wort Hannam and his band are in town to play a show at the Artful Dodger. To give you a sense of what to expect, here’s video of him performing the title track off his latest album


The things you learn while researching blog posts.

This one’s about a metal concert that’s going down at the SCES Club on Tuesday April 12. The headline act is the French death metal band Gorod. They’ve been around since 1997, and apparently when they first started they went by the name Gorgasm. Shortly after releasing their debut album Neurotripsicks in 2004, though, they switched their name to Gorod to avoid confusion with an American band that also went by the name Gorgasm.

And that’s not all. When I delved a little deeper, I found there was a 1990 horror movie called Gorgasm about a psychotic call girl, and I’m quoting from the IMDb database here, who has “a strange obsession with giving men the ultimate climax.”

Don’t know if that flick was the initial inspiration for either of the band’s names, but since adopting Gorod as their name this French metal band has released five additional albums — the most recent being A Maze of Recycled Creeds in 2015.

Joining Gorod on the bill at the SCES Club on Tuesday are Bookakee, Oracles of Oppression and Dystopian Wasteland. Doors are at 7 p.m., and tickets are a very reasonable $10.

Here’s Gorod’s video for their song “Inner Alchemy” off A Maze of Recycled Creeds:

Extroverts Release Party

Formed in 1979, the Extroverts are local legends in Regina. During a three-year run, they were standard-bearers for the punk/new wave movement in the city — touring relentlessly, and writing in excess of 75 songs.

The Extroverts disbanded in 1982, but singer Brent Caron, guitarist Eddie Lester, bassist Grant McDonald and drummer Hap Hazard kept in touch, and in 2009 they reformed and began playing shows again.

The band has been busy in the studio too. On Friday April 8, they’re playing a release show for a seven inch single containing two songs (Government Girls and Hysteria Night) off their forthcoming album Supple.

Sharing the bill will be the Delta Throats, Doubt It and Carl Johnson. Tickets are $10, and the first 100 people through the door on Friday, plus all advance ticket purchasers, get a free copy of the seven inch.

Jonathan Byrd & Corin Raymond

Born in North Carolina in 1970, Jonathan Byrd released his first album in 2001. Stylistically, his music falls into the category of Americana/roots with a strong focus on narrative ballads that address issues of life and loss in the American heartland.

He typically performs solo on acoustic guitar, but for his upcoming show at the Exchange he’s touring with Toronto folk artist Corin Raymond who will likely sit in with him for at least part of the set.

The show is being presented by Grassroots Regina and goes at the Exchange on Saturday April 9 at 8 p.m. You can get more info on the Grassroots Regina website, but tickets are $20 advance and $25 door.

Here’s the video for Jonathan Byrd’s 2015 song “Love Is The Law”:


Hailing from sunny Los Angeles, Intronaut is progressive/experimental metal band. The quartet has been around since 2004, and have released five studio albums — the most recent being The Direction of Last Things in November 2015.

On Wednesday April 6 Intronaut (the band’s name is apparently supposed to inspire people to embark on inner journeys when listening to their prog, jazz-inflected songs) will be in town to play a show at the Exchange.

Tucson metal band North is also on the bill. You can get ticket info on the Exchange website, and to give you a sense of what to expect here’s the video for the first single off Intronaut’s latest album called Fast Worms:

Lizzy Hoyt

Last year around this time I did a preview interview with Calgary folk/roots musician Lizzy Hoyt for a show she had scheduled at the Artful Dodger. It was kind of a last minute thing, and we spoke about a trip she’d made to Vimy Ridge a few years previously, and a new CD she had out called New Lady on the Prairies that was inspired by her own family’s settlement history in western Canada and their WWI experiences.

On Tuesday, March 29 Hoyt returns to Regina to play a show sponsored by Grassroots Regina. The show goes at the SCES Club at 8 p.m., and as you can see if you visit the Grassroots Regina website, tickets are $15.

To give you a sense of Hoyt’s sound, here’s a video for “Relentless” off of New Lady on the Prairies:

Marianas Trench W/ Walk Off The Earth

A double shot of Canadian pop rock is in store for Reginans on Saturday March 26 when Marianas Trench and Walk Off The Earth play a concert at Brandt Centre. I would expect it to be a small arena show, but it should still pack plenty of punch.

Based in Vancouver, Marianas Trench is touring in support of its fourth album Astoria which was released last November. According to the band, the album was conceived in the style of a 1980s fantasy/adventure — specifically The Goonies which was set in a town called Astoria in Oregon.

Walk Off The Earth has been around since 2006. But in the last few years they’ve acquired a bit of buzz status for their quirky instrumentation and unique covers of songs by other artist.

Show time on Saturday is at 7 p.m., and you can get ticket info on the Brandt Centre website.

Here’s the video for Walk Off The Earth’s first single “Rule The World” off their 2015 album Sing It All Away:


Metric W/ Death Cab For Cutie

With roots in the Toronto collective Broken Social Scene, Metric have been around since the late 1990s. Last September, they released their latest album Pagans In Vegas. Since then, they’ve been touring in Europe, the U.S. and Mexico.

Now, with spring in full swing, Metric are finally getting around to touring Canada. And on Monday March 28 they’ll be in town to play a show with the well-known Washington State based alt-rock band Death Cab For Cutie which is fronted by Ben Gibbard. The show’s billed as a co-headlining gig, and the recently formed duo Leisure Cruise (Leah Siegel and Dave Hodge) are also playing.

The show goes at Conexus Arts Centre, and the start time is listed as 6:45 p.m. on the CAC website. Here’s video of Metric performing the song “Black Sheep” off Pagans In Vegas

Nick Faye & The Deputies

Nick Faye and his band the Deputies are familiar faces on the Regina music scene. Besides Faye, who plays guitar and sings lead vocals, the band includes Byron Chambers (bass, vocals), Adam Ennis (drums, vocals) and Jonathon Neher (keyboard, trumpet, vocals).

In 2014 Nick Faye & the Deputies released a full-length album called Worry. It was their third release, and had a theme tied to mental illness. On Friday March 25, the band is playing a show to release a new EP called Lambswool.

The show goes at the Artesian, with the opening act Bears In Hazenmore starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and include a copy of the EP. To close, here’s the video for a song by Nick Faye & the Deputies called “Sheryl Crow” off Worry

Queen City Rocks Grand Finale

For the last two months or so there’s been a battle of the bands competition going on at the Exchange featuring a host of Saskatchewan groups. The field has been whittled down to five surviving bands, and Thursday March 24 they’ll take to the stage at the Exchange to see who comes out on top.

The competition is sponsored by 104.9 the Wolf and includes a prize package. You can find out more on the Exchange website.

The bands that made it to the final round are Circles & Revolution, League of Wolves, Majetik, Northern Fallout and Port Noise. The show gets going at 8 p.m., and admission is $10, with a portion of the money raised going to the charity Music Heals.

To give you a sense of the talent that will be on display here’s a video from League of Wolves for their song Straight Shot

The Real McKenzies

Founded in 1992, and currently based in Vancouver, the Real McKenzies have been a mainstay of Celtic/punk scene in Canada. During that time, they’ve had a fair bit of turnover, with a whole pile of musicians coming and going. The one constant has been lead singer Paul McKenzie who, as his name would indicate, was one of the founding members.

In 2015, the Real McKenzies released their latest studio album called Rats in the Burlap. Tonight, they’re in town to play a show at McNally’s Tavern. It will be one of the last gigs at the venerable Dewdney Ave. bar before it closes and undergoes renovations under new owner Niall O’Hanlon.

Opening the show will be the Montreal punk band the Boids. To get everyone pumped here’s the video for the Boids tune “Back In My Arms” off their 2014 album We Stalk Each Other Like Animals

The Sask. Sampler

As I’ve observed in the past this annual showcase is always a reliable sign of spring approaching. It involves three organizations that present summer music festivals (Gateway, Ness Creek and the Regina Folk Festival) holding an audition to scout local talent for their line-ups.

This year’s version goes at Bushwakker Brew Pub on Saturday, March 19. The event gets going at 7 p.m., and admission is $10. Acts that are vying for spots include Kirby Criddle, Josh Gonzales, Etienne Fletcher, Wolf Willow, Eric Taylor and Poor Nameless Boy.

To give you a sense of the talent that will be on display, here’s a live performance by Poor Nameless Boy that was recorded in January at the Artesian on 13th. The song’s called “Atlantic Ocean”, and it’s off Poor Nameless Boy’s 2016 album Bravery.

St. Patrick’s Day

Along with another activity that we won’t get into here,  checking out live music is one of the popular ways of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. With most of the SPD-themed gigs that are happening in Regina in the next few days, Celtic music is the go-to option. But there is a metal SPD show happening on March 18 at the German Club, so that’s a little different.

Here’s a breakdown of shows that are happening in Regina to celebrate the Irish holiday.

Wednesday 16

BILLARNEY at Bushwakker, 9 p.m.

Thursday 17

St. PADDY’S DAY with Pile ’O Bones Brass Band, the Celtically Hip, Tiny and Dave Flett at O’Hanlon’s.

ST. PADDY’S DAY with the Humdingers, an Irish pipe band, dancers and more at the Fat Badger.

THE CELTICALLY HIP at Capitol Jazz Club, 3 p.m.

St. PATRICK’S DAY PARTY with entertainment from the Regina Police Pipes & Drums, the Prairie Gael School of Irish Dance and Squeeze of Scotch at Bushwakker, $5 cover after 5 p.m.

St. PATRICK’S DAY with the Tilted Kilts at McNally’s Tavern.

THE BLAZERS at Cloud 9 Live.

JOHN MICHAEL LIND at Beer Bros., 8 p.m.

Friday 18

St. PADDY’S DAY BASH with the League of One, Furious George and Daytrip at the German Club. $10 advance, $12 door.

St. PATRICK’S DAY CONCERT with the Tilted Kilts presented by Regina Jazz Society at LeBistro, 8 p.m. Tickets range between $5 and $25 depending on your age and RJS affiliation.

Saturday 19

BOOMTOWN at Shannon’s Pub.
Sunday 20

Lancaster Musicfest

The first night of this three-day festival coincides with St. Patrick’s Day. I’ll have some other options for getting your Irish on tomorrow. But if you happen to be in the Harbour Landing area over the weekend, here’s what you’ll find if you stop by the Lancaster Taphouse. And partial proceeds will be going to support Special Olympics.

March 17

LANCASTER MUSICFEST with Sean Burns (6 p.m.), Rugged Little Thing (7:30 p.m.) and the Celtically Hip (9 p.m.).

Friday 18

LANCASTER MUSICFEST with Poor Nameless Boy (6 p.m.), Rugged Little Thing (7 p.m.), Mabaleka (9 p.m.), Mackenzie Jackson (10 p.m.) and Gunner & Smith (11 p.m.).

Saturday 19

LANCASTER MUSICFEST with Sean Burns (4 p.m.), Amy Nelson (6 p.m.), Katie Miller (8 p.m.), Brian Templeton (10 p.m.), Lunar Lander Dance Commander (11 p.m.).

Sunday 20

OPEN JAM hosted by Dustin Ritter (noon-5 p.m.)

To give you a sense of what to expect, here’s a recent video by Amy Nelson for a song called “Coming Back For More”:

David Francey

Born in Scotland, Francey emigrated to Canada with his family as a pre-teen in 1966. For most of his adult life he earned his living as a carpenter before turning to folk music in 1999.

Francey quickly made up for lost time, releasing 10 albums between 1999 and 2013. He’s got a couple of handfuls of JUNO and Canadian Folk Music awards and nominations in his career, and on Wednesday March 16 he’s in town to play a show at the Exchange. It’s part of a tour he’s on to celebrate the launch of a new album called Empty Train.

The concert is presented by Grassroots Regina. Tickets are $20 advance, and $25 door, and the show should get going at 8 p.m. Here’s Francey’s video the song “Rain” off his 2013 album So Say All:

Vertigo Series

This monthly reading series with a guest musician goes Monday March 14 at Crave Kitchen + Wine Bar. The readers this time are all authors nominated for 2016 Saskatchewan Book Awards (which will be held April 30 at Conexus Arts Centre in Regina).

First up, David Carpenter will read from The Education of Augie Merasty which he co-authored with Jospeh Auguste Merasty. Then MacKenzie Gallery curator Timothy Long will read from his catalogue essay for an exhibition by Saskatoon artist Amalie Atkins called We Live on the Edge of Disaster and Imagine We are in a Musical. Finally, Judith Silverthorne will read from Honouring the Buffalo which she co-authored with Ray Lavallee, and which also included illustrations by Mike Keepness.

Musical guest is country/roots artist Rye Noble, and things should get going at Crave on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

Wacken Metal Canada

Wacken Open Air is a huge three-day metal festival that takes place every August in Wacken, Germany. Here at home, there’s a set-up called Wacken Battle Canada that involves a series of regional competitions leading up to a national competition to select a Canadian metal band to go overseas to perform at the festival.

Tonight at the Exchange six Regina and area bands are facing off in the first round of the competition. The bands are Deadrot, Kelevra, Magnetic, Northern Fallout, Planet Eater and Scythra.

Two bands from this round will progress to the Saskatchewan round which will be held at the Exchange on Friday, March 25. From there, the winner(s) will proceed to a Prairie round, with the national competition featuring bands from B.C., the Prairies, Ontario and Quebec taking place in Toronto on June 11 at the Opera House.

To give you a sense of what’s at stake, here’s a short promo for Wacken 2016: