Locals to look out for

Despite the blanket of snow on the ground, my network of confidential sources is telling me that spring is indeed here and summer is just around the corner. It’s a bummer that this paper is tied to the school calendar because summer is the time this town really comes alive.

If participating in this weird and wild music scene we got going on here is your thing, then these next couple months are gonna blow your mind right outta that pretty little head and leave it writhing in ecstasy on the puke-covered sidewalk of Portage and Main. Let’s take these last fleeting moments to chat about the bands that are going to be making waves and thrilling all those willing to take the time to get up out of their lawn chairs and seek out some local talent.

1971 – Hailing from Northwestern Ontario, these kids know how to channel aggression and ingenuity into a sound that’s going to appease the old punks and get the youngsters’ journey started on the right foot. 1971 is further proof that Winnipeg’s punk scene is not only alive and well; it has the guts and gumption to challenge convention and push the boundaries of the form to new heights.

Satanic Rights – Featuring ex-members of Winnipeg’s stoner metal super group, Caniform, and current members of Winnipeg’s premier purveyors of rock and roll lullabies, the Lonely Vulcans, Satanic Rights have the right stuff to get me up out of my lawn chair and down to a venue, ingest some alcoholic substances, and rock and roll till the sun comes up.

Saünlust – They describe themselves as “a pack of reverb junkies who create super-sonic, psychedelic freak outs” and I want to agree. With a rotating cast of talented psych rockin’ rebels and a resident V.J. adding visual accompaniment, Saünlust is leading the charge of Winnipeg’s burgeoning psych-rock scene into the astral plains of the future.

French Press – This Manitoban chanteuse has a sweet voice and clever lyrics that will make the boomer Folk Fest types swoon with delight. For me that kind of description usually means that a big old yawn is on its way, but this ex-member of Oh My Darling has enough sly observations about the isolating nature of the human experience and endearing rough edges to keep her work interesting and vital, even if candy floss folk-pop isn’t your thing.