While Atmosphere’s date with Blueprint might be the biggest hip hop date of the week it’s hardly the only one — or even the best. Start your week on Thursday May 5 at Dickens Pub where it’ll host a triple header of a local show with Calgary vet Dragonfli Empire party-starting duo Blist and nuanced Vancouver lyricist Birdapres. Something for all tastes as they say.
The local options continue on Friday May 6. Take your pick: Melodic technical local metalheads Sacred Ally release their CD Reality Hammer at the Distillery. Or for less intense environs meander back to Dickens where the scattered pop of Panda Attack meets the sugary folk of Fast Moving Mountains sure to unveil a few new tracks from its upcoming release.
Saturday afternoon has perhaps the most varied event of the week when 20 songwriters converge on the Ship & Anchor for one of Calgary folk fest’s songwriting contests. With $2000 up for grabs this is the chance to catch the next gen of Alberta talent — no joke as the event in the fest’s words is for “untapped newcomers.” Either head to Weeds later to catch the fuzz-pop o f Extra Happy Ghost and Savk or to the sure-bouncing Marquee Room where rockabilly mainstay Buzz Elroy teams up with Hurricane Felix and the Southern Twisters.
Sunday May 8 has fewer possibilities but that’s no excuse to stay in. Instead opt for the Ironwood’s double bill. One on hand there’s the ear-pleasing classic rock indebted Ladies of the Canyon. On the other there’s Nova Scotia banjo whiz Old Man Luedecke — undoubtedly one of the Martimes’ finest folk assets. He’s a Juno winner for best roots solo album but don’t let that deter you: His banjo tunes and lilting sometimes fragile voice is the perfect antidote for a lazy Sunday.
Finally get into next week with a mid-week date at the Marquee Room with The Crackling a project headed up by Kenton Loewen best known as Dan Mangan’s drummer. He’s hardly in Mangan’s substantial shadow though: Built around Loewen’s heart-stopping breathy voice the recently released Keep Full Ambitious proved he too can craft unforgettable folk-pop. If you missed Loewen’s November date with the Burning Hell don’t miss this one. Bonus: A snowstorm won’t stop you from showing up either.