Beatlemania On Tour - The Beatles Experience Sept 15-2010

Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 by •»¶hê ƒRëq»•-)•–––– in

Ok.  This is a bit confusing but from what I understand, this particular tribute band is called "The Beatles Experience" and the tour is called "Beatlemania on Tour".  Not to be confused with the actual Tribute act "Beatlemania" that played here last winter.  I think I have this correct.  There are soooo many Beatles Tribute acts out there and I've listened to quite a few and I'll say that some are just bad.   The original "Beatlemania" was great but that branched out into a franchise with numerous bands of the same name, touring the world.  I saw the original which is by far the best.  Another good one is "Rain" which again has a long time history of a top quality show.   The band that's coming here in September is ok.  Not the best.  Their videos on their site don't do them justice but if you like the Beatles and their music then September 15  at the Kiwanis Theatre at 8 p.m. in Sault Ste. Marie is for you.  Tickets are $39-59.   I love the Beatles so I'll probably venture out to this show. 
You can visit the the bands website here.   I always hope Tribute acts "look and sound" like the originals but lately, most have given up looking like them.  Kinda sucks really ;-)
The one thing that is cool is that this Paul McCartney plays a left handed bass like the original Paul.  That is rare.   See ya there

Freq :-)

Errol Monchka - Local Artist Showcase #1

Posted: Monday, August 30, 2010 by •»¶hê ƒRëq»•-)•–––– in

         Born in the heart of the great Lakes, Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Canada where he resides with his son Noah. Errol Monchka has made a career illustrating commercial illustration. Being able to create an array of styles, this talent has been a great asset to corp. art directors. Being able to illustrate extreme photo realism to powerful graphics, there is no end to the direction Errol has been able to enter. When assignments slow down, you can usually find Errol working on some amazing self promotional work. Presently Errol has been working on illustrations for Play Station and has raised the bar for digital creations.  Errol states, "I believe artists should constantly challenge themselves to create better work every piece they create." "Don't be afraid to push the limit of your skills." Errol is always willing to correspond with fellow artists to discuss everything from airbrushing, digital art, to marketing. Feel free to contact Errol anytime.

Errol's work has been viewed by many local Sault folks as they pass the Wardlaw gas station on Wellington Street West.   The entire building was airbrushed years ago.  Before that, he airbrushed the interior of the old Eastgate bar in florescent coloured murals that stood out with the aid of black lighting.  His paintings took up entire walls in the bar.  His most famous piece is one of the Edmund Fitzgerald ship that was lost in a tragic storm. This print can be purchased online ..."HERE".

Errol for a time was involved in airbrushing T-shirts with famous music and film stars as the theme. I saw a few when he first did them and they were stunning.  He recently did  this one of Bon Jovi below.

One of my personal faves of Errol's work is this one below that took Errol nearly 5 years to complete.
More local artist showcases are coming soon, so stay tuned.

Glen "the Freq"

Attack of the Garage Bands "Tym Morrison"

Posted: by •»¶hê ƒRëq»•-)•–––– in

Here is another installment of  Barking Eye's "Attack of the Garage Band" series.   This time around, we feature local guitarist/ singer/ songwriter, Tym Morrison.  The focus of this series is to showcase what local musicians use to record their original music which means, the gear, techniques, software, etc.   Tym is a well established local musician who basically crafted his music himself playing all the instruments himself and or programming drum parts or using drum samples.   Here is a run down of what Tym used throughout his recordings.

Tym Morrison:

1. I didn't have a lot of gear at that time but this is what I had when I recorded the solo project CD in 2006. A Peavey classic 50/50, Peavey Rockmaster, Peavey stereo cab, Roland gp8, Alessis Microverb 4, Alessis Midiverb 2, my computer with the Soundblaster Platimun card, Shure sm58 and sm57, Silvertone Acoustic 6 string.

2. I usually lay down keyboards and drums first ported from Fruity Loops (, then once in Cakewalk (, I lay down the guitars next, then bass and lastly vocals.

3. Most songs I write on guitar first, but for example, the "Only Linux" song I came up with, I did the drum beat first and wrote the guitar riff around it.

4. I did all my recordings in my apartment. I was working on many songs at the time, and still have many unfinished yet partially recorded projects from even before that time that I need to finish lol. I still record everything the same way now. I like the creative control of not having to pay someone else by doing it at home.

5. Cakewalk Music Creator, Fruity Loops 3 (I now use the latest version) Sound Forge, Music Match (to convert to MP3). That's all the software I used back then , and I use a lot of the same software now, but I always check out other recording software. I like Cakewalk and continue to use it because I'm so familiar with this software.

6. All drums are sequenced in Fruity Loops, but I use my own drum samples that I got from an old site years back called "", where I found lots of cool stuff.  I downloaded tons of drum machine wav files and ended up using all these maple kit wav file recordings.

7. I did everything myself and at one time, I had considered getting a singer for the project, because my voice was not that strong back then,  but I'm glad I did it myself.My voice should be a lot stronger on my next CD.

8. This first Cd was a learning process for me. I know now that good microphones are key, in quality recordings. Also, compression is important to get good volume levels. But this was my first time trying to record a CD, and it didn't turn out too bad. I have better microphones and gear now and the next CD will be much better, but I'm content with my first attempt. Practice makes perfect.  Tym's CD, and many other recordings

Note: Like Tym, I use Music Match software to convert my wav files to MP3's however, the Music Match software company was absorbed by Yahoo and is now defunct but you can still use older versions of the software here. Older Music Match Software

Tym and his band are in a transition period as they change drummers but he is always around the local music scene doing acoustic shows when his band is not playing. 

Big thanks to Tym for the input on his music creation.   Stay tuned for more of the "Attack of the Garage Band" series coming soon.

Glen "the Freq" Thomas

Stolen Music Gear Alert...!!!!

Posted: by •»¶hê ƒRëq»•-)•–––– in

Local musician Josh Norling had 2 of his saxophones stolen from outside of the Solo Trattoria Restaurant
yesterday.  Please read his personal message posted earlier today on Sootoday.

"To whom it may concern, My name is Josh and I'm a musician. I was performing at a benefit last night at Solo Trattoria, and just before I left the gig my friend's car was broken into and two of my saxophones were stolen. I'm a music major in university and performing with these saxophones is how I make my living. If all the readers could keep a lookout for an LA Sax tenor and soprano saxophone in a Reunion Blues gig gag I would greatly appreciate any information. Also if any pawn brokers, and music stores could keep an eye out for them and notify the authorities. Thank you. I can be reached anytime at 1-705-919-4133, I can also be reached at 759-1556.
Josh Norling"

Musician theft unfortunately has been a growing problem in the local Sault area and a number of people I know including myself have experienced the horror of having your prized instruments ripped off. Simply put, if a thief wants your stuff badly enough, they will get it and that doesn't matter if it's in a bar, house, car etc.  You can take precautions and yes folks, there is insurance for musicians.  Here are a few things to know.

1.  Be aware that normal household insurance will normally only cover $2500 worth of music gear.  If you want more covered, like myself, you must pay extra for it and it must be on it's own insurance policy.   This only covers gear that normally stays in your house.  If you want to use certain gear on gigs, then you will need insurance that covers your gear on tour.   The world insurance leader for musicians is "Lloyd's of London" (  Even our local Musician's Union has insurance plan info through this firm.   Of course, if you want to play, you've got to pay.  Most insurance for your gear is based on the dollar worth of your gear. For example, for every $100 worth of gear you pay $2.   Serial numbers and descriptions (photos of the actual gear) are all pluses when getting insurance but also for record keeping.  REMEMBER....House insurance will cover your instruments "IF" you get and pay for a separate policy  but the gear can't leave the house.  This is very important.  Car insurance is also tricky as it will only cover so much so you have to be clear with your insurance broker on your intentions.  Bottom line is, you can't replace a good quality instrument as no 2 instruments are alike.   I have insurance policies on my gear and it costs a fair amount but then again, I have quite a bit and most gear just stays at home.   It's best to be safe than sorry. 

2.  Bars and Venues you play will normally "NOT" cover stolen music gear as these businesses have no clue what you own and yes, you could lie about what you have.  I've had friends get their entire stage of gear stolen with no insurance.   They got nothing!!!   Be aware of this ok?   The insurance companies want "proof" of what you own and if you have no proof of your gear, you're up the creek without a paddle.  Create a manifest list of every nut and bolt and serial number of all your gear down to the last wire along with photos and descriptions and present it to your insurance company but also give a copy to your local police.

3. Take tons of photos, copy all serial numbers, write down accurate descriptions of your gear right down to the scratches and dents in your gear.  All this leads to proving ownership of your gear.  If you have no serial numbers on the gear,  get an engraver and create one in a spot not noticeable to the public.  If you have microphones, engrave the inside core of the mic, for guitars, engrave the wood behind the pick guard, for drums, engrave the inside of one lug on each drum.  Try anything to get a serial number on your stuff if there isn't one already but even add one as mentioned just in case.

4.  It is nearly impossible to get music gear back because in most cases, the people that steal it either leave town or keep it in their own house for years or dismantle it and use the parts or  in most cases, sell it off to someone else.  There is some hope as a few people I know have had their gear found and returned.  One found his guitar on Ebay and quickly notified authorities.   One person I know, who had his guitar registered, was called by Toronto police when his guitar was found in a Toronto pawn shop.  Cops always check the pawn shops for stolen gear.   His guitar was returned.

5.  NEVER leave stuff in your car.  You're asking for it to be stolen.  If you leave it in your car, you're advertising it for a quick grab and take.   I've known numerous musicians who have suffered loss from a car break in.   Just don't leave it in a car, it's that simple unless you have someone you know stand there keeping an eye on the car.  When loading your gear up at night, "NEVER" leave your gear moving vehicle unattended.  Always have a spotter.  If you have a Cube Van like me,  back the truck tight up against a wall so as to not give access to the back draw door of the truck if it's full of gear.  If they can't reach the lock, in the center of the door, you're protected.   I have heard of one instance where the thieves used a rolling car jack to jack the back of a cube van up at the back wheels, and roll the truck forward to access the back door of the cube van and steal the gear, but that to me was someone scouting the bar where this band played. Most thieves aren't walking around with a 3 ton car jack. ;-)

6.  For quick one night gigs, have a used instrument that you know you won't miss if it gets stolen.   I always have 2 cheap drumsets I use for gigs I feel might have a potential theft problem.  If you're doing a top gig and you need to use your best gear, don't leave it out of your site or if at least have a spotter.

7.   Never leave small things on stage like mics, capos, harmonicas,  tuners, pedals, cymbals etc.  You're asking for it to be stolen. You must remember thieves come in all shapes and sizes and yes some are employees in the establishments you play. Don't trust "ANYONE"  in a bar. Things can be taken quickly and people you don't know hanging around your stage could be scoping your gear.  Always be observant of strangers near your stage.  When you're not at the bar and your gear is there, you're relying on the employees to keep an eye on your gear but the fact is, they they have their own job to do and they can't watch your stuff 24/7 so there is opportunity for thieves to steal during the day while the business is open and you're not there.

8.  Always file a police report on your stolen gear.  If you don't, you're an idiot and deserve to have your gear ripped off.  After that, check the pawn shops, EBAY,  used antique stores,  local music stores, Customs, online sites that sell gear locally but also talk to people who work at the bar you played in.  Find out if anyone saw someone suspicious.  Yes, even check people you know, ask the question, who do you trust?

9.  Cover your stage gear with black sheets.   This is a simple thing and what it does is hide what you or your
band is playing.   You'd be surprised how much you notice people uncovering big black sheets on a stage then just a person grabbing a guitar pedal.   It's like a giant flag and even bar employees can notice someone moving sheets to get to your gear.   Sounds stupid but it actually works.

It is unfortunate when a friend or fellow musician loses their gear to theft.   We all go into a unity mode and we want to get the persons responsible.  In the case of Josh, the musician experiencing this today, music is his income and definitely a huge part of his life.   Musical instruments are not cheap to replace and musicians become one with the instruments they have developed their craft with.  It's like getting stabbed in the heart.
I've had gear stolen and some of that were cymbals.  My favourite cymbal to be honest and someone in our local community now has it in their possession without my permission. ;-)   It's a horrible experience and not one I'd wish on anyone.

Keep an eye and ear out for Josh's saxophones.    The good thing about this theft is that their aren't many sax players around so if it shows up in pawn shops, music stores etc.,  it will hopefully flag some awareness.

The Sault Music Scene on Facebook

Posted: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 by •»¶hê ƒRëq»•-)•–––– in

I came across this site a long time ago called "The Sault Music Scene" that features, for the most part, bands that played the old "Zombie -a- Go Go" non alcoholic bar that use to be on Gore Street in good ole Sault Ste. Marie.  This site also features bands that use to play that bar when is was called the Centennial.  Upstairs, there use to be a bowling alley and downstairs was a hall that many many bands played over the years.  I girl named Anita and her sister leased the main floor to start the Zombie - a - Go Go bar which ran for quite a while.  I played there quite a few times with a band called Driver and with a band called Spy vs Spy.  I have nothing but fond memories of the shows there along with the owners..  There is a massive history of local bands that have played within the walls of that old building (said to be haunted ;-) and a lot of it is showcased on the Sault Music Scene's Facebook page.  Over 300 photos of bands and posters of some of the Sault's most interesting music acts are posted on this site.  The site was started by local drummer Don MacDonald who also graced this old establishment.   You can join the Sault Music Scene Facebook page by going ........>"HERE"<   Check it out, you won't be disappointed.  You may just remember some of these old bands. ;-)

New Local Band "Cherry Crush"

Posted: by •»¶hê ƒRëq»•-)•–––– in

Yes, local guitarist/ singer Jules Cote has another band ready to hit the local bar scene.  You may remember Jules from past bands Bangers and Mash, and Johnny Lunchbox.   Advertised as a dance band, Cherry Crush features Taryn Bugyra (vocals), Jules Cote (vocals, guitar) , John Amendola (bass, vocals) and Justin Marandola (drums).  Tayrn was in a band with Jeremey Salatuk (Wishbone) years ago that I believe was called "The Chosen".  Definitely a solid vocalist.   Jules is also a very talented musician and this pairing alone is worth checking out Cherry Crush.   Taryn is the owner of the local bar Foggy Notions so I'm sure their first gig will be there.   They are presently advertising on Facebook so if you want to join the Cherry Crush network of fans, visit the  "Cherry Crush Facebook Page"

Northern Raceways a Concert Ground?

Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2010 by •»¶hê ƒRëq»•-)•–––– in

For many years since the closing of  Northern Raceways (originally 5th Line Speedway), the rumour of this great stretch of property being a concert ground has been circulating.  Why you ask?  It's easy to understand.  This area is perfect in size for holding concerts plus it's away from the city to cause any noise problems and most of all, it has 2 access roadways to easily funnel traffic in and out.   There are a few snags however.  There are people that live near this track and the noise of stock cars pretty much angered them to the point that when talk of a concert ground surfaced years ago, they went on record as saying NO to any concert ground being built.  There was also a concern of property damage from concert goers.  Another plus if this was to become a concert area is the fact there is a campground just down the road.  It's a KOA campground and it would surely benefit from people camping there from out of town for certain events.  Of course, if you weren't a concert goer, I'm sure the concert volume would discourage you. :-)

Over the years, I have mountain biked back where this old racetrack use to hold weekly events.  I was also there in the hey day of racing at this track.   I submitted photos a few years ago to a Canadian racing publication dealing with "Ghost Race Tracks" around Canada and mentioned that this Northern Raceway track lay asleep, waiting for something to bring it to life again.   Some of those photos are below.   The grand stand is still standing being that it is a metal framing but the wood planking is rotted.  Tons of trees have grown through the grand stands but the drag strip and racing oval still remain.  Putting a huge stage in the middle of the oval with refurbished grand stands and tons of parking area along with room for food venues can easily be seen if you were to walk the area.   It's a gold mine sitting, waiting for development. 

So why has it not been developed?  It's puzzling since there is a lot of industry up in that area including our local city dump.  There are trucking firms up there and for the most part, a handful of residential homes.  Those I do believe are the key to the problem.   I do know since I was a kid, some of those homes have been bought up for businesses so it looks like one by one, houses are disappearing.  Could this be the wait?  When the houses are gone, then a concert ground be built?  I don't know.   It's prime property so almost anything would benefit.   None the less, every summer since the U.S. Castle Farms concert grounds closed, rumours have flown about this Northern Raceway track becoming a concert ground.    I personally think it would be a great thing.   Imagine giant music festivals here?  Headliners?   There's so much room that you could easily get top name acts. 

There are just no definite facts on these concert ground rumours.  This has gone on for decades really and nothing ever happens.  Each season, the trees grow bigger and the grand stands of this old raceway dissolve a little more.     Maybe, something will happen now that we see big name acts are playing our local Essar Center and the need for more space and parking come into affect.    Only time will tell.

Below are photos of the grand stands, track area and parking areas as they now are after years of being forgotten. The grandstands are huge and the old track is a 1/4 of a mile oval.   In the satellite photo from top to bottom is racetrack property.  There is actually more not shown at the bottom of the photo.  Left to right, the track property is about an inch to 2 inches on either side of the oval.  More so on one side than the other.  This is massive property for a concert ground.   Take a ride out there sometime and see what I'm talking about.  The photos don't really give you the total image of the property size.    Just think of the possibilities.. ;-)

KISS Makes Good

Posted: by •»¶hê ƒRëq»•-)•–––– in

Out of all the controversy, canceled shows, battle of the bands and all the hoopla, one photo says it all and it's this one posted on the Rad Zone site. True, there are some great photos from the show and even video of Tuesday night's KISS concert at the Essar Center but to me, this is the photo that tells it all. Local boys "Garden of Bedlam" got to play their dream concert after some tense moments of show cancellations by KISS. After all the bands participating in the contest to win an opening spot for this KISS show, beating out over a dozen bands, there was a time it was all for nothing for Garden of Bedlam when the much hyped KISS show was cancelled, but this past Tuesday, Garden of Bedlam were given their chance as the rescheduled show actually happened. I'm sure there is a lot of envy from the other local bands that participated and lost the chance to open for KISS but I'm sure there will be other chances.

Congrats to Garden of Bedlam on their chance to open for KISS, but also to KISS for keeping their word. ;-)

The Freq

The Mile Wide Grey

Posted: Monday, August 2, 2010 by •»¶hê ƒRëq»•-)•–––– in

I've decided to preview 6 songs by my cousin's band "Mile Wide Grey".  The band is simply 2 guys enjoying the art of making music without following any rules in song writing.  The band started in the mid 1990's  and proceded to release 2 albums before 2000.   The first album was called "What's True is Changing" and was released in 1996 by the label "10GEV Records".   My cousin Chris and I exchanged CD's at that point as I had just released an album with the band Rainhorses.   It was pretty cool to hear that another family member was into the music thing like myself and we both enjoyed talking about each others album. My cousin Chris and his band mate Brian were playing small clubs in the New York area at the time, doing sets at 3AM in the morning for no money.  The thing is, they loved it and it was never about money.  The band later put out a 2nd album called "Superior" in 1999 with a change in writing style but again with very unique results.  I found that I really enjoyed their music as at times they had a comical slant to their writing.  I just got the impression they didn't want to be taken seriously yet, their song topics always caught my interest.  They did get some cool sounds happening in their recordings and they weren't afraid to experiment with different instruments and sound effects.  2 piece bands don't seem to be as rare these days with bands like the White Stripes or the Black Keys around like they were back in the 90's but that's what my cousin wanted to dol. I will admit, I'm not a fan of watching a 2 piece band live but music wise on recordings, I do enjoy it.

My cousin Chris and his brothers use to come visit my family  from southern Ontario back when I was a kid.  We always had a great time especially out at my uncles camp on Lonely Lake. Chris and his brothers were what you'd call "brainiacs" and very interesting to hang around with.  ;-)   Chris in his youth was a singer in the Saint Michael's Choir which is noted for it's long history and tradition of excellence and high standards in musical achievement.  Let's just say that you don't just walk in and join this choir. ;-) This choir is know around the world. As my cousin got older, he was bitten by the rock music bug, and like many of us, our lives became partially dedicated to creating and playing music.

My cousin Chris and his friend Brian have kept their band "Mile Wide Grey" a slight mystery in that they only use their first names and there are only 2 photos of them.  It's all part of their plan.   In 2008 after a long hiatus, rare tracks appeared at their record labels site for a free download and I was lucky enough to grab them.  No 3rd album was produced for these songs but I have a few of them now, along with a few from the first 2 albums for you to preview.   It's difficult for me to describe their music but I do love it.  Their record company describes their music as follows:

Each and every song is the world short circuiting while driving through the desert.
Each and every song is a love song.
Each and every song is graffiti scrawled by a rabid sophomore in the bathroom at an AC/DC performance.

Here is a review of their 2nd album "Superior".

"Local SLACkers Mile Wide Grey, slap happy apathy rock. Noise pop from THE underground. The Mile Wide Grey is guitar/vox and drums humming w/ plenty o’ reverb particles. Looking-down-a-staircase guitar lines with plenty o’ tasty overdubs. T-shirt and jeans vocals often bolstered by treated background choruses (whispersville on #5, answering machine style on #1,#3,#7) #9 is sad like the HAL-9000 singing “Daisy”#11 is a linear accelerator solo live-mic. Quantum radio activity. -Aunt Bea Factory".

Here is the Mile Wide Grey Discography

 "What's True is Changing" 1996

 Track Listing
1. lardass
2. scratch
3. ffr
4. people I saw once at cbgb
5. Bombastic Interview
6. Green Coat
7. drift drift drift
8. marginal zero


"Superior" 1999

Track Listing
1. S. & the Drone
2. El Dorado
3. Bird!!
4. Bad Aspect Ratio 

5. Cool Now
6. Loose-Fat/Paper Cup
7. The 9:30 Silence
8. Menuet in G
9. Parking Meter, Expired
10. Attention: The Beam is Coming On

Rare "Mile Wide Grey" Tracks were released as a free download. 2008.

Below are 6 songs by my cousin's band  "Mile Wide Grey". 




Full Moon Lightnin' Wins Best DVD Award

Posted: by •»¶hê ƒRëq»•-)•–––– in

 Yes it's true.  The movie "Full Moon Lightnin', directed and produced by filmmaker John Gardiner that  documents the journey of the Floyd Lee band featuring local guitarist Joel Poluck, has won best DVD of 2009 in "Living Blues Magazine".  Just so you know how big of a deal this is, Living Blues Magazine has been around since 1970 and has been a leader in blues music journalism.  This is a great accomplishment for Joel and the Floyd Lee Band.    I still find it hard to believe that Joel (from Sault Ste. Marie) started out playing Van Halen and Steve Vai guitar riffs and then throughout his life absorbed so much of the blues music culture.  That to me is true dedication.
Congratulation to all involved with this film.  If you haven't seen it, slap yourself first and then go buy it or rent it.  You won't be disappointed.  Please visit the official website of "Full Moon Lightnin'" ...  >>"HERE"