Off! Not just a bug spray anymore

Golden-aged punks hit Calgary

It’s a half-Christmas half-folk-fest side-stage wet dream. Either way it’s a good thing: Kris Ellestad one of Calgary’s most talented and overlooked songwriters is back in action. His first performance in two years Ellestad’s been working on a new album — with no determined release date as of yet — and if we’re lucky he’ll be unveiling new material at the Palomino on Thursday August 19. Up-and-comers Cub and Cali-gary songsmith Honeybear (who sometimes lives in the Golden State) round out one of the summer’s best all-local bills.

Continuing with the Christmas trend Sloth Records has the supremely early jump on Woodpigeon ’s newest 12-inch Balladeer / To All the Guys I’ve Loved Before . Before we get into the conflict-of-interest discussion — indeed singer Mark Hamilton doubles as Fast Forward Weekly freelancer — this is a collection worth mentioning: It has Steve Albini and Howard Bilerman (The Arcade Fire) production. The Witchies perform as a backing band. Hell Honeybear makes an appearance. And Calgary has it first. Go to.

If you’re the type who’s not willing to sacrifice your drinking time for your music (and we all are sometimes) then head over to catch Off! perform at The Marquee Room on Thursday August 19. Part of a Sailor Jerry sponsored party the all-star group features Keith Morris (of y’know the Circle Jerks?) Redd Kross’s Steven McDonald and Dimitri Coats of the Burning Brides. Get your copy of American Hardcore autographed. Get your faded Black Flag tattoo a little sunlight. Drink uh responsibly. It’s a win-win-win situation.

If you’re like us — and you yearn frequently for Kathleen Hanna — you’re in luck with Montreal electro-grrl act Swamp Sex Robots landing at Broken City on Friday August 20. Taking cues from the sassiest and most danceable elements of Le Tigre’s catalogue the group takes the stage with local no-wavers The Shagbots. Head to ffwdweekly.com to read an interview with the Robots and don’t forget to bring your Lucha Libre wrestling mask — we hear it’s a tradition at the Robots’ shows.

Finally eclectic Edmontonian Daniel Heffner — fresh off performances in New York — returns playing the Ironwood on Saturday August 21. He’s a former busker but don’t expect any limp renditions of “Brown Eyed Girl.” Rather the Heff performs a brand of flamenco jazz and classical guitar with a virtuosity that’d make most studio musicians blush. And hey if he’s good enough to open for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra — as he did in 2003 — he’s good enough for us.