Though we won’t be there for the ride (at least not in this capacity) Calgary’s cultural year is just kicking off. As the snow thaws there’ll be a packed slate of events. One of the most beloved is certainly the Sled Island festival which will return from June 24 to 28 in various venues around the city.
After revealing that Montreal mysterios Godspeed You! Black Emperor will both perform and curate select artists at this year’s fest Sled organizers have shared the initial lineup. It’s barely scratching the surface of the approximate 250 artists that’ll eventually perform but there’s plenty to get excited about already.
Confirmed acts include post-punk legends Television recently reunited guitar gods Drive Like Jehu explosive noise-rock duo Lightning Bolt beloved Canadian producer and composer Daniel Lanois riff-heavy shredders Ex Hex (featuring Mary Timony of Wild Flag) power-pop garage dude King Tuff American doom metal masters Pentagram stoner rock bros Fu Manchu local post-punk world dominators Viet Cong noisy hardcore shit-disturbers Pissed Jeans Norwegian jazz outsiders Jaga Jazzist Detroit producer-rapper Black Milk digital folk act and Skrillex buds Hundred Waters alt-rap outsider Son Lux electronic pop explorer Lydia Ainsworth garage-punk quartet The Coathangers Danish post-punk cowboys Iceage and art rock act Oxbow.
As for Godspeed’s choices there are plenty of top-notch acts. These include Kim Gordon’s post-Sonic Youth project Body/Head Dutch free-jazz punks The Ex experimental composer (and Godspeed’s Constellation labelmate) Matana Roberts experimentalist Carla Bozulich (also on Constellation) immortal rock ’n’ roll couple Fred & Toody (of Dead Moon and Pierced Arrows) outsider Afro/Krautrock group Avec Le Soleil Sortant De Sa Bouche (the new project of Fly Pan Am’s Jean-Sebastien Truchy) Montreal trio Big Brave and veteran singer-songwriter David Dondero.
Passes for Sled Island are available at sledisland.com. We’d tell you to look forward to our in-depth coverage of the fest this summer but well you know.