Fractured fairy tales

Laura Barrett and Ghost Bees conjure odd magical worlds

In an ingenious bit of booking Broken City will feature Laura Barrett and Ghost Bees this Thursday December 4. While the two have differing approaches to their music (the former is quirky the latter kind of creepy) there’s enough common ground that they should be perfect complements. Barrett uses the unique sound of her kalimba (a.k.a. thumb piano) to craft bizarre ditties about robot ponies and spaceships. Ghost Bees on the other hand use their haunting harmonies to conjure an ethereal past one where vampires and ghosts lurk at the fringes and childbirth takes on mystical connotations. Both acts seem to have emerged from a fairy tale world though and this show should have some significant magic.

Also on Thursday DJ Z-Trip will take another spin through Calgary. The legendary DJ pioneered the mash-up on his 2001 Uneasy Listening mix paving the way for acts like Girl Talk. He’ll be spinning at Snatch Rock N’ Roll Lounge drawing on everything from backpacker rap to Glen Campbell.

Saturday December 6 will spotlight a trifecta of Albertan talent although sadly they’re split between three different venues. The Nickelodeon Folk Club will host former Wailin’ Jenny (and former Calgarian) Cara Luft whose folk tunes blend sophisticated guitar lines with a breezy pop sensibility — and an inexplicable fascination with sailors.

At the same time Calgary’s Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir will be stomping and hollering at The Marquee Room in their own inimitable manner. A furious blend of vintage blues and entirely modern weirdness the Agnostics don’t worry about fitting into a particular place or time — they’d rather just be amazing.

Also at that same moment Edmonton’s Whitey Houston will be filling the HiFi Club with pure sweaty rock ’n’ roll. Sure frontman Lyle Bell was just here in one of his other outfits The Wet Secrets but Whitey’s fist-pounding rock anthems are even more fun than the Secrets’ marching band schtick and drummer Gravy is a force of nature. And for a two-piece they sure bring the loud.