Drum roll please

Roche Uhntraal kicks a phat beat.

If this year’s DRUM! is any indication, Halifax is a thriving, underappreciated percussion hot spot. But the event shouldn’t be confused with the seven-year-old Drumfest, which aims to expose various forms of percussion on a global scale as performed by local talent. To be held November 4 and 5 at Saint Matthew’s United Church, each Drumfest production, under the guidance and commitment of Matthieu Keijser, will feature a dozen acts by 75 percussionists from within the Atlantic provinces. Musical styles will include Mi’kmaq, Celtic, African, Spanish, Brazilian, Middle Eastern, Cuban, classical and jazz, and the public is invited to attend workshops that will be offered between noon and 6pm on Saturday. Each workshop is an hour long, costs five bucks and features a distinct culturally inspired brand of drumming. Email drumfesthalifax<\@> yahoo.ca to register.

Heavy Blinkers lighten the load

The Heavy Blinkers will shrink to three members and undergo a brief name switch on November 3 at Tribeca, for a show billed as A Heavy Blinkers Trio. While some would jump to conclusions of impending doom for the experimental pop sextet, multi-instrumentalist Jason MacIsaac is quick to affirm the trio is anything but a means to an end.

“I wanted to call the group ‘A Heavy Blinkers Trio’ instead of ‘The Heavy Blinkers Trio’ because ‘a’ implies that we are a contingency from the band. ‘The’ is just a little too official for me,” he says. “A Heavy Blinkers Trio are representatives from the band, not instead of the band.”

Financial logistics for an upcoming two-week European tour was the biggest factor. “The last time the band went to Europe we had enough money to bring seven people, this time, to do it effectively, we can only bring three,” he explains. “We thought we would do one home show before returning to the full band complement.”

Along with Dave Christensen — who takes on clarinet, flute and keyboard duties — singer-songwriter Jenn Grant was invited into the fold, as Ruth Minnikin has been travelling across the country with the Mid-Autumn Night’s Dream tour. The trio will be sticking to unreleased, gentler selections set for release on a record to be titled Health. As for how the other members of the full group feel about the use of MacIsaac’s branding of the trio, he is unsure.

“That’s a good question. I have kept them informed as to my intentions and they are fully aware that this trio is a function of money, so I hope they’re OK with it,” he says. “We are eager to get home to put the band together again and get this album done.”

Death by Nostalgia searching for parking

While it was obvious “Natural Disaster” off Joel Plaskett’s La De Da would be put into video rotation upon its release last week, Death by Nostalgia is still looking for a home for their “Cars, Cars, Cars.”

“We will be sending a copy to MuchMusic and Zed, and will very likely put it on our website,” explains vocalist and keyboardist Matt Reid. “We currently have distribution with Zunior.com, so we’re hoping it may pique interest with a national audience.”

Filmed on high-contrast black and white film by Becka Barker — wife of former DBN guitar player Jim Cooper — the video was filmed last May in the Bayers Lake Industrial Park.

“Fitting with the song’s reference to overdevelopment and car dependency,” he says, “we contrast band performance footage in a wooded area with shots of the band interacting with the parking lot landscape. “

The band will launch the finished product on November 3 at Gus’ Pub with Great Plains supporting.

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