Get set for SnowSlam, Part II 

What: SnowSlam II

Where: Merlin's

When: Saturday, April 24, 7:30 p.m.

How Much: $15 in advance; $20 at door

Jamie Weatherbee and his fellow bandmates from the longtime local melodic punk rock group Slush are at it again, organizing the second annual SnowSlam, a modern homage to the now defunct (but still popular) SnoJam tour that hit the ski resort circuit in the '90s.

"This is our answer to an event that is greatly missed in Canada," Weatherbee said in a recent release.

The lineup for Saturday is a jam-packed roster of nine of Canada's best underground and widely-respected punk rock groups, including Whistler's Slush, The Dreadnoughts, Carpenter, Raised by Apes, Cambridge, In Bear Country, Impeders of Progress and No Other Way. Check out what they're all about:

The Dreadnoughts, "Vancouver's biggest, baddest, drunkest, punkest Celtic band," was founded in 2006 over more than a few pints of cheap beer at East Vancouver's infamous Ivanhoe Hotel. From there, the band went on to cut their musical teeth at some of the city's roughest dive bars, kickstarting their career with an opening set for The Real MacKenzies, who are considered by many to be the godfathers of the Celtic-punk genre. Since then, they've been carting a fiddle, accordion, mandolin, tin whistle, guitars and drums around to any and every venue that would have them, quickly establishing a reputation for their powerful and somewhat chaotic live sets. Last May, they released a new album, Victory Square , and have been touring North America and Europe with the new material since. Check out their sound at www.shitenonions.com.

Another well-known Vancouver group, Carpenter, is set to take Merlin's by storm, as well. Daniel Sioui, a former member of the post-punk band, All State Champions, started the group after a brief break from making music in 2005. Inspired by John Cougar Mellencamp's song American Fool, Sioui abandoned his former genre and decided to focus more on developing a rootsy, rock feel while still retaining the intensity of his punk/hardcore roots. Lyrically, the band's songs explore the Canadian rural landscape and highlight struggles faced by independent farmers, arguing against the corporate agribusiness industry and promoting sustainable farming practices.

Raised by Apes returns to their natural habitat in the lush rainforest of beautiful B.C. this week, escaping the urban jungle of Vancouver to get back to their raw, primitive punk rock roots.

A dynamic five-piece musical project, Party at the Moontower writes purely guitar-driven, melodic songs to get fans singing along even when they don't know the words. Their "real rock" sound is enhanced with clever harmonies loaded with vocal and instrumental hooks.

One of Vancouver's few remaining punk bands that hasn't slowed with time, Cambridge mixes political statements and social commentary with melody and the hardcore, always adhering to the DIY ethic. They're just getting ready to release a new full-length album This Is Not A Victory next month, so come get a taste of their sound, live.

In Bear Country, a relative newcomer to the scene, has already released one official album of their "beard-rock" and plan to have a full-length project out this year. Intrigued by this so-called "beard rock"? Check out www.myspace.com/inbearcountry.

A hardcore punk outfit out of Vancouver, Impeders of Progress, has been making music together since June 2007 and just released their first five-song EP last spring. They've recently shaken things up a bit, adding a new strummer and second guitar to the lineup and are getting ready to release their first official full-length project this spring/summer.

Finally, Ottawa's No Other Way garners comparisons to groups like NOFX and Iron Maiden. The band has developed their sound into a full on "melodic thrash-punk-heavy-metal-cock-rock assault." They currently call Vancouver home and are getting ready to release their third full-length album this summer.

Tickets to SnowSlam 2 are $15 in advance at Merlin's or $20 at the door. The doors open at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24, with the first band hitting the stage at 8 p.m. sharp.

 

Children's Chorus wraps up season Sunday

The Whistler Children's Chorus has had an insanely busy year; they were front-and-centre at many Olympic events, singing O Canada, loud and proud; sang at the Torch Ceremony and joined Ali Milner for the Paralympic closing ceremonies; and traveled to Guelph, Ontario in November to participate in the SEVEC youth exchange with the Guelph Youth Singers. The Guelph group is scheduled to visit Whistler on May 24, with a joint concert planned for May 27 at 7 p.m. at Spruce Grove.

To wrap up all the excitement, the Chorus will be joined by the Whistler Community Band, a newly-formed group of about 20 musicians - adults and Grade 8 and 9 students - playing brass, woodwind, violin, guitar and percussion, in their annual year-end spring concert at Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church on Sunday, April 25 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and just $5 for children under the age of 12.

 

 

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