SECOND ANNUAL STRUMMING FOR HOPE
A now annual charitable event in the clubs helps celebrate what’s great about our local music scene in a bar without the normal accouterments of a late night out.
“I had helped out with some of the marketing efforts for [This Ain’t Hollywood co-owner] Lou Molinaro’s shows and he mentioned he wanted to do something different where alcohol wasn’t going to be served,” recalls co-promoter Heather Mueller. “He wanted to do a breakfast show and support a charity.
“I know, 7:00 am is a crazy time of day, but this was all Lou’s bright idea last year and for some miraculous reason, people showed up,” adds Mueller on last year’s inaugural Strumming for Hope event in support of Interval House. “Surprisingly we had close to a full house, and many people said if they knew about it earlier, they would have also attended. We have a great line-up of performers and CHCH TV will be live on location throughout the morning so it’s a pretty cool event.”
“Last year we made about $2400,” adds Interval House’s Annie Horton. “We’re happy to be involved again. Interval House is a place where women and children can come when they are fleeing abuse. We provide housing and support services and we do all they can to get back on their feet and enter the world again.
“I’m buddies with local musicians like Matt Paxton, Harlan Pepper and more but it’s nice to feel like I’m doing something for the community — for the music community and the shelter that I work for at the same time,” adds Horton. “I am actually excited to go because I think it’s going to be a really cool event.”
“I was just really pleased to be asked,” offers local musician Sarah Beatty. “I did a show with Interval House before and it was a really lovely event. There are a lot of dudes that really do love women and want to support women but as a woman, I like being able to support initiatives of people doing good work to help other women and also to make my own contribution to the work that’s being done to help women that are going through some really tough stuff and don’t have the resources. I think an organization to fill in that gap to help women who are really in need is really important. Women and children are most living below the poverty line. If you help and educate women and give them opportunities then you can take a big knock out of the poverty issue that exists in Canada. Anybody who’s trying to do good work, I try to support. If my music can help support something like this that makes me happy.”
“And we really appreciate the help,” interjects Horton. “We hope people are inspired to come out and have some fun and support a worthwhile cause. If they’d like, people can also help out by bringing canned goods — nothing dented or expired, preferred canned pasta for kids, peanut free kids lunch snacks, dish soap, diapers, paper towels , toiletries, and juice.”
An autographed guitar will be given away courtesy of Long And McQuade and a variety of people are donating their services to make the event happen including Dave Merkovic, Chedoke Flowers, McCartney and Sons, Work, Mulberry Coffee House, Bonanza Bakery and more.
“As an artist, it’s nice to be on a bill that you admire and respect so it’s going to be an awesome morning of music,” says Beatty. “It’s an event that serves the community and helps the artists as well at a great time. Friday and Saturday night is your standard working hours so with this you get to actually see some of the artists you don’t get to normally.”
“It’s a really warm vibe, that’s what people most commented on last year,” notes Mueller. “By the time the concert is done, you’re starting your work day. It was amazing how many people came out last year. There are so many people that want to see live music but can’t make it out to shows in the evening because of jobs or kids. We had so many daytime working folk that really enjoyed it. A lot of people would come in, grab a hot breakfast and catch an act or two and then get on with their day.”
The Second Annual Strumming for Hope happens Friday January 24 with performances from Max Kerman (Arkells), Harrison Kennedy, Lori Yates and Buckshot Bebee, Brad Germain (The Dinner Belles), the Zilis, Sarah Beatty, Luke Bentham (The Dirty Nil) and Gord Lewis (Teenage Head), Dave Pomfret and Dan Medakovic (Fry Truck), Weekend Riot Club and Danielle Beaudin. Breakfast will be served from 7:00 am to noon and your $15 donation goes to Interval House. Click on intervalhousehamilton.org
The Mogs’ El’Mogamundo
One of the newer bands on the local scene has been gestating in one form or another outside of our local stages but in the last few months is quickly positioning themselves as a notably musical entity with their new CDEP, El’Mogamundo.
“I was born in Trinidad and Tobago but I’m a Canadian and I’ve lived all across this country but been in Burlington the last ten years,” recalls singer and guitarist Rob Munro. “I’ve been making music since I was 13 years old. I was founding member of the Frankenstein 5, of Scratching Post in London, Ontario and more. The Five broke up and I still wanted to play music, I loved power pop. So the Mogs formed with a mixture of guitar rock, power pop and rock and roll with maybe a little metal thrown in there. The Mogs have been around on and off for about twenty years. It died violently back in 2001, that’s the best way I can describe it. We recorded an entire album but we never put it out. I moved back to Burlington and I just wanted to play still so Rufus [Flypaper] and I formed the Noble Savages.
“I was in metal when I was 14 or 15 years old and then I got into punk rock — mostly the Ramones,” adds Munro. “And then somewhere along the way, this band called the Gruesomes came along and it was a real good amalgamation of the Beatles meets the Ramones. When I moved to London, Ontario, I was just learning about garage rock. I got turned on to Pebbles and Nuggets [compilation recordings of old garage rock] and met Whatwave Dave [London, Ontario’s premier underground tastemaker] and we were at a Fleshtones show and he told me, ‘You’ve got to talk to this guy, Rufus. If you don’t, I will kill you.’ That’s the beginning of the Noble Savages. That was a few years ago and Rufus is still one of my best friends but I am such a front man, I just had to do more of my own thing.”
Munro would borrow Noble Savages guitarist Derek Smith to be his drummer and add Alyssa Broere on bass and vocals and resuscitate the work he had begun with the Mogs.
“We jammed at the Jamzone in Burlington and a friend told me I had to meet this girl that was a musician’s musician,” explains Munro. “I met Alyssa and then we brought in Derek and we started from there. We jammed for at least four months before we started playing but we decided we’d go into the studio right away and start putting product out.”
With only three live shows under their belts, the Mogs only made their debut at the ending of 2013 and by the beginning of 2014 have a new CDEP recorded with Mario Pietrangeli at Downtown Sound.
“El’Mogamundo has pieces of the old Mogs but there are a lot of new collaborations,” says Munro. “We all write together. I play bass and guitar but mostly guitar. Ally plays bass and guitar. Derek plays drums, guitar and bass. We flip back and forth and we’re working on a kind of Beatles/ power pop/ punk/ heavy metal kind of thing.
“Mario was awesome and just let us do our thing,” adds Munro. “We don’t sound like anybody and we don’t want to sound like anybody. We just write our own stuff. I’m just a musician and I want to write the songs I don’t hear on the radio. This is fun attack rock. Derek really loves the Misfits and we all love the Beatles. Ally likes death metal. It’s a very good stew and coming up with our own ideas. It’s very melodic. It’s a Hamilton stew of rock and roll.”
A rough and ready loud rock jaunt through rock’s primordial history and the Mogs make for a band to take note of in 2014. With their CD release, Munro and the Mogs hope to make a splash but as Munro confides, the band is simply having fun with making this music.
“I love the Troggs and I kind of like the word Mogs,” muses Munro on the origin of the band name. “It sounded normal but I met this girl and she told me mog means cat in Gaelic. You know how cats have nine lives? Well I’m on life seven or eight now with this band and I kind of liked that. I’m a cat and I’m on life seven of being a musician.
“When the Mogs play live, we’re in your face, we have a lot of fun,” adds Munro. “We’re going to be putting a lot of fake blood on our faces and letting people know we fell down a staircase for our love of rock and roll. Dig our rock and roll. The Hamilton scene is the most vibrant scene in Canada right now. I’m way jazzed about everything. The best thing about playing music now is that we get to play and hang out with these amazing bands and we get paid for it. I love the Hamilton scene because people genuinely like it.”
The Mogs play this Saturday January 25 at Doors Pub with the Noble Savages, the Squids and the Janitors. Doors are at 9pm and $5 gets you in. Find the Mogs on Facebook.com
Featuring Ken Daultrey (guitar, vocals), Jesse Elliott (guitar), Jake Matthews (bass) and Evan Greenaway (drums), Vivid Eye came together three years ago but with some membership changes have fine-tuned their molten metal and this weekend the band offer their debut CDEP.
“I ran into an old friend from high school who played guitar but moved to bass and we started the idea for the band,” recalls Daultrey. “We tried out a few vocalists but ended up deciding to just have me sing. We ended up getting a drummer and then a second guitarist to fill out the sound. Our biggest influences probably come from bands like Motley Crue, Black Sabbath and Tool. Our drummer is still in high school and so we’re able to draw a lot of younger kids as well. You can still see some of them wearing Led Zeppelin t-shirts or something. The genre is still there, it just might slowly be coming back. We like a lot of current bands but we take greater influence form the classics. It’s what we were raised on.
Vivid Eye have already opened for the likes of Rackula, Teenage Head, Neverending White Lights and Faster Pussycat suggesting that their music might translates to a wider range of music fans.
“We incorporate a lot of styles into what we do,” reasons Daultrey.”There’s a hard rock thing we do but there is also a more groovy style like glam metal. We try to diversify ourselves that way. That’s how the new disc came about. We all sat down and collaborated on songs and we didn’t plan out what we were doing, this is what came out.
With a new eponymously titled CDEP recorded at Hive Studios, Daultrey and company hope that Vivid Eye’s CD release party is one rock and roll event but one that also allows for the bands to gather as a community once the music playing is finished.
“I had someone in my life and they had such a huge influence on me making music but they ended up changing their career path,” says Daultrey. “The band name is personal but it’s a name for me about keeping that influence and taking their footsteps into a new direction even though that specific influence isn’t there anymore. We want to promote this CD as much as possible, perhaps work on a tour for the fall. We do want to make music our life.
“For our CD release party, we’re definitely going to play full of energy and get into the music,” adds Daultrey. “We want to use the whole stage and put on a show. We have some lighting effects and smoke machines to give it a bigger show for the crowd and offer something more than just the music. We’ve got six artists performing so we also wanted to do something to have the bands be able to hang out and drink with the fans. We’re having some comedians coming in to offer some light entertainment for the after party.” V
Vivid Eye plays this Saturday January 25 at the Bay City Music Hall with Spin Dizzy, Dawn Before Descent, Two Peace Extra Spicy, Redux, and Melissa Mercer. Doors are at 6pm and tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Click on facebook.com/vivideyerecords