Summer is just getting started in Metro Moncton. And with summer comes music and lots of it. As the prospect of a big act hitting Magnetic Hill this summer is looking less and less likely (although not impossible), music fans should look to smaller venues to help fill any musical voids that might be prevalent in their lives.
David Wilcox, Everclear and Live are but three of the bigger names that will have played Moncton by the time June wraps up. In addition to those acts however, a bevy of independent groups will also have marked Moncton off their “must play” list as well.
Here are some of the highlights that I feel are worth checking out:
■ TV Freaks perform at Plan B Lounge on Tuesday, June 4. Showtime is 10 p.m. Plan B is located at 212 St. George Street, Moncton. Also performing are Rabid Reaction and Impulse Items.
Hamilton garage-punk band TV Freaks are making the most of their time during their current jaunt through the Atlantic provinces. The group started their east coast tour with a show in Fredericton Thursday and will hit Sackville, Charlottetown, Halifax, Saint John and Moncton before their show in Montreal on June 6. With a few releases already to their credit, the group is getting set to release their second full-length album via Schizophrenic Records later this summer.
The group is pleased as punch to finally be hitting the road to spread their music to the masses but admit that journeying south of the Canadian border will very much be a necessary evil, so to speak.
“Logistically, we figure that touring Canada is our most viable option,” vocalist Dave O’Connor says. “But Canadian bands can also get into the cycle of staying in Canada due to the money, time and effort that it takes to legitimately cross the border as a performer. For TV Freaks, the United States is obviously a mecca for all of the music that has influenced us as well as the scene that we consider ourselves to be a part of.”
■ Moncton band Rocket Culture celebrates the release of their self-titled EP with a show at the O.C., 700 Main St., Moncton on Friday, June 21.
One of the newest groups in the fertile Metro Moncton music scene, Rocket Culture also happen to be one of the more musically adventurous. The group combines a diverse range of influences including Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Tool and more on their self-titled debut EP.
Recorded last year, Rocket Culture’s Colin Gauvin says that pinning down a specific musical influence amongst all five members is a challenging prospect. What they do share however is a love for where their music can take them.
“For the most part, our musical tastes vary quite a bit from one member to another. I’m really not sure if there’s a single band or artists out there that all five members really love and draw inspiration from,” Gauvin says. “I feel that the band is more unified by a concept than we are a shared love for a certain type of music or group. At this point in our lives, both personally and musically, we are brought together by our desire to be as dynamic as possible and to push the limits of our collective comfort zone.”
■ Saint John band The Playdates perform at Plan B Lounge, 212 St. George St. on Wednesday June 26. Also performing will be Adam Washburn. Show time is set for 10 p.m.
The Playdates have established themselves as one of the province’s most up and coming bands. The group has earned widespread acclaim and a hint of commerical success thanks to previous singles including “All For Love” and “Just Like The Movies”.
Before the group heads west to Ontario for a run of shows in July, they will stop by Moncton’s Plan B Lounge on June 26 where they will more than likely be performing a mix of old and new songs.
“We are in the process of finishing our sophomore record,” Playdates drummer Chris Claessen tells the Times & Transcript.
Written over the course of the last year, Claessen says the group has the bulk of their album already completed and are currently putting the finishing touches on the record with help from producer Greig Nori (Hedley, Marianas Trench).
“The rest of the year is going to be a busy one for us with showing through the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec coming up. We’re hoping to make Newfoundland in September and are also looking to shoot videos for our singles. The writing process can be tedious sometimes but we are excited to work the rest of the year in fast forward.”