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L.A. Beat


The L.A. Beat

CKXU FUNDrive and laughter this week

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If you want to fight off that St. Patrick’s Day weekend hangover with live music then come on over to downtown, where there is still a lot happening.
 CKXU Fundrive events dominate the week.
 the University of Lethbridge based community radio station is  planning on reaching their $30,000 FUNDrive goal for a new website.
 So in addition to on air giveaways, there are several big shows downtown.Kimberley MacGregor returns to Lethbridge with Curtis Glas and Makiisma. Photo by Richard Amery
Catch a diverse cross section of music at the Slice which hosts CKXU and University of Lethbridge Gutsy Club’s band wars. Local country pop band Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction, GreenBones, Orangeman, alternative rock duo Cope, Jane Doe, Sydeshow and alternative rock trio Mombod go head to head for big prizes including recording time and much more beginning at 5 p.m. There is a $10 cover to attend.
The other big CKXU Cosmic Frequencies themed FUNDrive event is the “landing party” at the Slice, Friday, March 23. The event features a variety of local bands put together for the occasion to play space themed music. Performers include  Space Band, NASA Camp Dropout, Cartwheel Galaxy, Vandendool and the Quasar Quartet and HD80606. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

But there is a  lot more going on this week.The Owl Acoustic Lounge features their jazz jam with HBO3 and  Josh Davies on Wednesday, March 21.
 Thursday, March 22 is the night for laughter.
 There is a comedy open mic at the Zoo in the University of Lethbridge Student’s union featuring Solly  KP. There is no admission to attend.

 And Joker’s Gone Wild return to Casino Lethbridge, March 22 with Todd Ness, Shawn Gramiak and William Hannigan. The comedy begins at 7 p.m. There is a $10 cover.

The Geomatic Attic welcomes Grammy award winning bluegrass musician Laurie Lewis and the Right hands performing at 8 p.m. She is  touring in support of her new CD Blossoms (Spruce and Maple Music) Tickets range from $37.59 or $40.The Geomatic Attic has a busy weekend as the next night they welcome  Nanton/ Vulcan country band Tin and the Toad at 8 p.m. Tickets are $27.50 in advance and $30 at the door.


Todd Stewart records solo album in between new Northern Beauties album

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Calgary musician Todd Stewart is known for being part of roots duo The Northern Beauties and roots rock act Brocade, but he returns to Lethbridge, March 23 to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge with The Dudes’ Danny Vacon in support of his debut Solo Ep“ Everything you Want.”Todd Stewart plays a solo show with Danny Vacon this week. Photo submitted
““These songs are a little more personal and they didn’t quite fit in with the Northern Beauties,” Stewart said, noting he recorded it almost simultaneously with the new Northern Beauties long awaited new Cd, which they plan to release in September.

“It’s been two years sing the Northern Beauties first album. so I hope people will respond to it,” he said.
“The new Northern Beauties album is done, it’s in the can, but then we started writing more songs,” he said, adding while waiting for the release, booking tours and planning PR, he decided to work on his own project including playing a few Southern Alberta dates including at the Twin Butte Store, March 24 in addition to the Lethbridge show and in Calgary at the Ironwood on March 31.

Stewart’s solo CD features a lot of  steel guitar.
“That was a a lot of fun. I felt this style of writing required  some pedal steel guitar. It’s something I always wanted to learn how to play, with all of those long sustaining notes. It’s such a beautiful instrument. but I haven’t had the time to learn how to play it yet ,“ he said, adding he got old friend Matt Kelly to play steel guitar on it. He has known Kelly going all the way back to his days with Brocade.
“There’s still not a lot of pedal steel guitar players in Calgary. Back in 2013 Charlie Hase was the guy to go to ,” he observed, adding there is more interest in steel guitar.


CKXU embraces space for FUNDrive 2018

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 University of Lethbridge based community radio station CKXU 88.3 is shooting for the stars for this year‘s “Cosmic Frequencies” themed FUNDrive.Adrianna Smith models some of the Cosmic Frequencies swag for the 2018 FUNdrive. Photo by Richard Amery
There will be a variety of original local programming from 7 a.m. to midnight every day of FUNDrive, March 16-23 and special events happening in the community and on campus to help reach this year’s $30,000 goal.

“We set that goal every year, but we never reach it, but we’re reaching for the stars this year,” enthused CKXU program director Adrianna Smith.
This year’s FUNdrive funds will be used to develop a new state of the art website.

“A new website costs tens of thousands of dollars. It will offer limitless programming and podcasting and more which will allow listeners to access CKXU programming at the times that work best for them,” said Smith, who can be seen wandering around town dressed as an astronaut with other dedicated volunteers to help spread the word about FUNDrive.
“If you see astronauts wandering around campus and downtown, come up and say hi. We’re not scary. We’ve been getting a lot of strange looks and people asking to take pictures with us. If you say hi and take a flyer from us, you can take all the pictures you want,” she continued.

DJs will be asking their listeners for pledges in exchange for some cosmic swag including T-Shirts, crew cut sweaters, knit pins and patches, special habanero ghost pepper Hot Sauce a special compilation CD of local and touring acts who have recorded special sessions in the CKXU lobby. And of course the CKXU Friends Card which gives the owner discounts at a cornucopia of local businesses.

 Individual DJs have planned their own giveaways including specialized music compilations, baked goods, handicrafts, concert tickets and more. Every pledge over $25 gets you entered in a draw for  “Taste of CKXU” package including gift cards from friends and all the CKXU mix tapes. First time donors are entered in a draw for a swag pack from previous FUNdrives and early birds who donate before March 16 through are entered in a draw for some very cool prizes including two passes to South Country Fair, a weekend pass for the Blueberry Bluegrass Fest in Stony Plain, a ticket to summer solstice in Edmonton and more.

The fruits of the last three FUNDrives were dedicated to a new transmitter and long awaited signal upgrade, which will take effect in a few months, allowing everybody in the city as well as out to Taber and close to Claresholm to hear CKXU’s unique brand of programming and music you won’t hear on mainstream radio stations.

Station manager Aaron Trozzo noted the proceeds from most of the last four FUNdrives went towards the signal upgrade including all of 2014,15 and 16 and some of last year’s event.


Lethbridge and District Music and Speech Arts Festival continues under new banner

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The more things change the more they stay the same.Natalie Tompkins and Sandy Brunelle are excited for the Lethbridge and District Music and speech arts Festival. Photo by Richard Amery
 The Lethbridge Music  and Speech Arts Festival picks up the torch where the Kiwanis Music Speech and Arts Festival leaves off. Their number one goal was to make the transition  as easy as possible, helped a lot along the way by the Kiwanis Club.

“It has been a challenge. We have a very active, dedicated nine member board. The Kiwanis Club left us their list of volunteers. They don’t all volunteer every year, but we have their names,” observed Lethbridge Festival society president Sandy Brunelle.

 The new board has planned on providing three weeks of entertainment all over the city, very similar to years past, though they have had to adapt to losing the Yates and Sterndale Theatres due to renovations.

“It’s been a lot of work,” said general manager Natasha Tompkins, who shadowed the organizers last year to soak up as much as she could in preparation for the transition.

“It’s been a learning experience,” Tompkins said.Dave Shefsiek  accompanies Kaden Pratt during rehearsals for the Lethbridge and District Music and speech arts Festival. Photo by Richard Amery
 The hard work has worked.
“The lady in charge is really organized,” observed Gilbert Patterson band teacher Karli Lewis, who has 255 students involved in this year’s festival in several categories including Grade 6, Grade 7 and Grade 8 band, percussion, stage band and concert band.

“They’ve had to deal with a lot of stuff because of the renovations to the Yates,” Lewis continued, noting she has had students participating in the festival for the past 16 years.
 She always enjoys the opportunity to be adjudicated by  experts in the field.
“The kids are excited to meet the challenge,” Lewis said, adding she is working with many of the same kids as they move up from Grade 6 through Grade 8 bands. Some of the stage band competitors, who audition for a spot in the band, are new.


L.A. Radio

CKXU University of Lethbridge RadioUniversity of Lethbridge campus radio. Click here for heaps of great programing appealing to all demographics and musical tastes, spoken word and news.

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L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

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