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School's always out for Roche Uhnthraal

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While most bands are occupied with last-minute holiday shopping, on top of it all, the Danny Mainstreet Band will squeeze in a last-minute show December 23 at The Attic. Frontman Ben Hughes says the band is anxious to help Halifax relieve any holiday stress it may have. Just don’t expect Santa Claus.

“I suppose if one of us could grow a beard on command, we would definitely be into dressing up as Santa,” he says. “However, if that plan doesn’t unfold by late Friday afternoon, we’ll go with plan B. Loud rock ‘n’ roll turned up to 11, and a glut of new material.”

Before heading back into the studio this coming spring to record a new record, the PEI-bred foursome will promote a second video, the title track off last year’s Bulletproof and Ignorant. Shot in Vancouver last October, the concept was the band’s own idea.

“I did the treatment for the video,” explains Hughes. “Two guides take the band” — who are cast as “official inspectors” — “on a tour of a city. During this tour, the guides try to keep all the downfalls of the city very hush- hush. But as the video unfolds, more and more of the problems are revealed.”

Hughes is excited about its release.

“There’s one part in the video I really like. A vandal is spray-painting on a huge pillar, but thanks to some wonderful effects it disappears until we, the inspectors, walk by,” he says. “It reappears and says ‘Ambush the Radio.’ Since the run time of this song is 4:30 with an edit and we’re not Green Day, we’d pretty well have to do it to see any play.”

Juno buzz starts now

In just under four months, the annual celebration of the year that was in Canadian music industry circles will descend upon Halifax — and we now have some of the deets. The 2006 Juno Awards weekend kicks off Thursday, March 30, with a free open-air concert showcasing an assortment of Nova Scotian music talent. The following day, the scope of the event broadens as JunoFest opens its doors in venues across the city. Over 100 examples of Canadian talent will be showcased on March 31 and April 1 from 9pm to 2am, with wristbands assuring priority access over the pair of nights going on sale March 4.

On sale the same morning will be tickets for the weekend’s third annual charity hockey event at the Halifax Forum, pitting ex-NHL greats against some of the country’s most recognizable names in music. No word at press time whether Dave Semenko will be paired up with Chad Kroeger.

Saturday is for the fans, with Juno Fan Fare scheduled for Pier 21. Nominated artists will mingle all afternoon with their admirers, while interviews and prize giveaways take place all the while.

The Songwriter’s Circle will offer something less wild the next day at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium beginning at 1pm. Promising songs and stories from some of the nation’s finest, tickets will be available February 25. April 2 also features the weekend’s defining spectacle, the awards ceremony, to be held at the Metro Centre. Tickets sold out last year in Winnipeg at the 16,345-seat MTS Centre in 16 minutes — so line up early. (Not this early, though!)

Winning and losing

School will be out for many by the time this show comes around, but not too late for Alice Cooper to bring in summer at the Metro Centre on May 3. Tickets are on sale now for $55.50 each, with a limit of 10 per person. Now that we’ve given you the good news, here’s the bad: Metric has postponed plans to perform in Halifax on February 17, while Stars will re-route as well. But we could still see both in town in the not-too-distant future, so chin up.

Keep on keepin’ on: scene@thecoast.ca.

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