Dog Days of May

Chris McCluskey’s got the beats.

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Halifax alternative rock’s leading buzz act completed tracking for its sophomore record this past weekend. The latest effort from Dog Day—as of yet untitled—is described by guitarist and vocalist Seth Smith as being, among other things, darker and less “boppy” than last year’s EP.

“We’re more of a band, I think, this album. It’s definitely more of a band record,” he says. “We’re trying to make it a lot more true to our live performance to represent us live, which I feel our first record kinda didn’t.”

The band’s live performance is fueling rising admiration for the group. Dog Day—also comprised of drummer Casey Spidle, keyboardist Crystal Thili and bassist Nancy Urich—will be taking the show on the road in October, tweaking the album through the summer months.

“It’s 15 tracks, we’ve got a lot done. We’re just in the mixing process right now,” says Smith. “We can’t really go public on who we’re releasing it with as of yet.”

Catch them before they take off on May 6 at Stage Nine with The Superfantastics and Ancients.

Tops

The Halifax Pop Explosion, slated for October 19 to 21, is about to expand into even more uncharted territory. For the first time, our most anticipated festival of the year will showcase in Toronto as part of the Over the Top Festival. Local acts Great Plains and Jenn Grant are set to join Ontario groups The Sourkeys and We’re Marching On for the bill this weekend. Grant is excited to return to the city—she has performed only a single proper show there, at the Rivoli, during Canadian Music Week.

“A few years ago I was visiting my bro in Toronto and was trying to build up the nerve to sing at an open mic. I thought I would have more confidence if I was in a strange city. I wasn’t ready then, but now I think I would like to sing on top of the CN tower, if I wasn’t afraid of heights,” she says. “I’m excited to be a part of this event because I love Halifax so much that I am going to explode into a popsicle party. Represent!”

Gig round-up

Ex-I Mother Earth singer Brian Byrne will attempt to shed his original rock star stigma June 9 at Stage Nine with a complete departure from his post-grunge past. The Newfoundland native, who replaced Edwin to front the long defunct band in 2000, is slated to perform in support of his first solo release, Tuesdays, Thursdays and If It Rains. If you’ve ever really wanted to meet the top drummer of 1988 as voted by readers of Modern Drummer, the Musicstop Annual Show & Sale is your big chance. Journeyman musician Tommy Aldridge—who appeared on a pair of Ozzy Osbourne records in the early ’80s and was a member of the reformed edition of Whitesnake in 2003—will appear as part of the Yamaha Drum Clinic at St. Antonio’s Hall on May 26. And multiple Juno Award-winning folker David Francey kicks off his summer tour at Celtic Corner Public House in Dartmouth on Thursday, May 4.

Drum up your news and send it: scene@thecoast.ca

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