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It may seem strange for a band with only two songs to be hosting a two-night release party, but for local heavy metal/grunge group Solhounds, it’s all part of the plan.

The former four-piece (who will be revealing the name of their new, fifth band member soon) fronted by vocalist and lyricist Elise Roller, are hoping to use shows anchored on the pair of new tracks to test the waters and build up some national and international name recognition before jumping into the expensive and time-consuming process of creating a full-length album, and they’re starting with two small performances at the Handsome Daughter this weekend.

Concert preview

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Mar.15 & 17, 10 p.m.
The Handsome Daughter
Tickets $10, available at Ticketfly

"If you’re putting all this time and money into a recording and making it the best it can be, it’s pretty hard to do that and afford it for 10 songs as an independent artist, so I’d rather gain fans and more support with two songs and continue to write with the band. The next year or two is about us developing and really working the hell out of those songs," Roller says.

"It’s a bit of an experiment to see how the singles do out in the world, and there is already interest from industry people, but a lot of them say the same thing... they’re kind of like, ‘We have to see what you can do,’ so this is us seeing what we can do."

Both of Solhounds new tracks — Body Bandit and Be A Man (I Taught Him) — take on a distinctly feminist tone, which has become a bit of a mandate for the band. Roller says her male bandmates have really hopped on board with the messages of female empowerment she wants to promote with their music, and her influence is something that has truly made an impact on them and the decisions the group makes both on and off stage.

"Their eyes are very open — things are still not made for women, we are living in a man’s world and they are watching me go through that, they are watching me as a single parent, they hear the way people judge me and are really supportive of me," she says.

Although it is becoming more common to see female-fronted heavy metal bands, it’s still a very small club, and Roller relishes the opportunity to be an inspiration to any girl who wants to get involved in the genre. She describes her time on stage as a release, and says she feels powerful when performing. Her hope is to extend that energy to a whole new generation of frontwomen.

"I mean, when I first started, I was doing indie-pop-electronica with a laptop, singing love songs because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do as a girl," Roller says.

"I think the more females see other women on stage raging and screaming and not being pretty — like, I’m taking up space, I’m being loud, I’m being noisy and demanding attention, I’m scaring the boys... no one ever hits on me at the end of a show. When I get off stage, they see me as an equal, or are scared of me, and not as someone to hit on and I love that," she laughs.

"I don’t perform to get sexual attention, I perform for people to hear my voice. And that’s happening, and I would love to see more women do that because it’s awesome."

Erin Lebar


World of Wheels

Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files</p><p>World of Wheels takes place from Friday, March 16 until Sunday, March 18 at the RBC Convention Centre.</p>

Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files

World of Wheels takes place from Friday, March 16 until Sunday, March 18 at the RBC Convention Centre.

Fasten your seatbelts and get your motor running — there’ll be plenty of horsepower at the RBC Convention Centre this weekend.

The 44th annual Piston Ring World of Wheels is rolling into Winnipeg once again, bringing all manner of motorcycles, hot rods, trucks, custom-built cars and more to the York Avenue venue.

Check out the American Muscle Car Café, or soak in the growl of a barrage of bikes at the Harley-Davidson Winnipeg CycleRama. Pickup trucks old and new will be showing off their stuff at the Kern Hill Tailgate Display Party so, you know... come on down.

As is always the case, World of Wheels features appearances by a range of celebrities, and this year is no different. Among those appearing at this year’s show are WWE wrestler Dean Ambrose, Karan Brar of Disney Channel’s Bunk’d as well as Ryan Evans from Count’s Kustoms.

Other high-profile appearances will come on four wheels rather than two legs. A number of vehicles from the Fast and the Furious film franchise will be polished up and on display, including a 1970 Dodge Charger, 2016 Subaru WRX, the Ice Charger from Fast 8, the Fast Attack vehicle from Furious 7 and more.

World of Wheels runs Friday from 3-10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Advance (discounted) tickets are available at Piston Ring locations.

Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson


Katja Ogrin / EMPICS Entertainment</p><p>Grammy Award-winning rapper Nelly brings his sold-out show to the Club Regent Event Centre on Sunday, March 18.</p>

Katja Ogrin / EMPICS Entertainment

Grammy Award-winning rapper Nelly brings his sold-out show to the Club Regent Event Centre on Sunday, March 18.

Is it getting hot in here?

Grammy-winning rap artist Nelly is bringing his All Work No Play Canadian tour to Winnipeg on Sunday, March 18, at 8 p.m. — and you can be certain he’ll play his No. 1 hit Hot In Herre for the sold-out crowd at Club Regent Event Centre.

The Missouri-raised artist born Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. is best known for his chart-topping 2000 debut album, Country Grammar, which was certified nine times platinum in 2004, and its followup, 2002’s Nellyville, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart.

The 43-year-old performer hasn’t released an album since 2013’s M.O., but he has collaborated with country artists Tim McGraw and Florida Georgia Line (the remix of the latter’s Cruise took the song back into the Top 10) and recently released a cover of Thomas Rhett’s Die a Happy Man. He appears on the BET reality-show spoof Real Husbands of Hollywood.

There were no tickets for the show available at press time, but check ticketmaster.ca for late releases.

Jill Wilson


Manitoba Metalfest 2018

Toronto hardcore band Cancer Bats will headline this year's Manitoba Metalfest.</p>

Toronto hardcore band Cancer Bats will headline this year's Manitoba Metalfest.

Get ready for some blast beats and death growls — the 15th edition of the Manitoba Metalfest will once again take over the Park Theatre on Friday and Saturday.

Headlining this year’s event is Toronto hardcore punk four-piece Cancer Bats on Friday night, and Bronx-based thrash metal band Demolition Hammer on Saturday night.

Cancer Bats are currently touring in support of their fifth full-length record, 2015’s Searching for Zero, while Demolition Hammer have just reunited after a more than 20-year hiatus, and this weekend’s performance will mark their first ever live show in Winnipeg.

Other bands scheduled to play throughout the two-day festival include Damascus, Waster, Inverted Serenity, Escape From Echobase, Malevolent Hand, Skeletal Remains, Endless Chaos, Untimely Demise, Skunk and Wreck-Defy.

Tickets run $45 for a two-day pass or $25-$30 for individual days, and are available at the Park Theatre, Music Trader and online at Ticketfly. Last year’s Metalfest sold out, so if you’re planning to do some thrash dancing and head banging this weekend, it’s best to buy your tickets in advance.

Erin Lebar

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