As you’re reading this I’m likely in my ancestral home-spot of Toronto probably gnawing at some kind of giant roti and flipping through a copy of local alt-rag Eye Weekly . I’m likely scanning the listings probably looking for something to do on New Year’s Eve — and as ever all those options involve local bands. Yep. There’s Hooded Fang. The Sadies. Elliott Brood. Hell even my longtime favourites The Beauties are playing at my longtime watering hole The Dakota.

But looking through these listings something strikes me: Right now despite the mouth-shattering chana roti despite the endless drink-dates with old pals and despite the ungodly amount of cash I’ve likely spent at Canada’s best punk rock record store I’d rather be in Calgary. Really.

Yeah Hooded Fang is great. But the New Year’s festivities in Calgary — at least as music goes — are seemingly endless. Indeed Deadhorse — which catches up with Fast Forward Weekly’s Jesse Locke this week — is playing at Broken City on Friday December 31. Then there’s the always-rattling spooked folk of Ghostkeeper which also joins the bill. Or for the more punk rock inclined Dickens hosts the timeless-ageless Knucklehead which performs with more local faves in Madcowboys and New Black Centre devotees Colin Decker Freefall.

If that doesn’t grab you Vern’s got metal with the curiously titled Dead Girls Don’t Say No State of Demur and Death Toll Rising . Red Autumn Fall’s Brit-infused indie pop lands at the Republik. The Ironwood rings in 2011 with the tender jazzy folk of Polyjesters . For full-blown jazz Rob Young and the Big Beat Band play an already sold-out gig at Beat Niq. Hai Karate and Smalltown DJs ignite the dancefloors at HiFi. Heck even the Dog and Duck is in on the action hosting psych-rock mammoths Black Phoenix Orchestra and the charming pop of the Nix Dixons.

Fuuuu — breathe.

Because by the time you’ve put down your first Caesar of the year it’s time to get started again with Lethbridge garage gems Fist City and the emerging all-girl power pop of the Shrapnelles which kicks off the year right on Saturday January 1 at HiFi. Onwards to 2011!

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