At this point Calgary’s punk scene has a full-fledged country obsession. Sign-painting punker Cody Swinkels once blasted out anthems about being sick of his friends as the frontman for pile-on worthy hardcore crew Act Fast! while Kevin Stebner divides his time between tinkering with NES cartridges with his Revolution Winter record label and gritty post-hardcore band Stalwart Sons. Now however they’re both focused on countrified acoustic guitars and liquid-based monikers with No River and Cold Water respectively. Check out both projects on Thursday September 5 when they play Broken City with the Bitterweed Draw . Just don’t expect any mosh pits.
Until today I thought Vancouver outfit LEGS had something to do with ALF House punk staples Hari Legs but one listen to their Bandcamp suggests that’s probably not true. Instead they pump out heavy blues dirges with lyrics like “I want to be your gypsy woman.” If that sounds like your jam hit up Broken City on Friday September 6 where they’ll appear alongside New Friends Evan Van Reekum’s band whose name makes me think of Drake singing “no new friends no new friends no new friends no-no new.”
Calgary’s music scene is so insular that it often feels like band members are just rearranging their roles and slapping a new name on the project. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that which is why Sled Island has decided to once again throw their Rock Lottery fundraiser on Saturday September 7 at The Palomino. This time around 25 musicians will throw their names in a hat on Saturday morning and instantly come up with a new band to perform that night. Participants include Kris Ellestad Laura Leif Kenna Burima Ryan Kelly (Cowpuncher) Alex Kurth (The Weir) Seth and Ben Leon (Jeremy Clarkson) Evan Wilson (CJSW’s Am I Right??) Evan Van Reekum (New Friends [“no new friends”]) and many many others.
While Van Reekum will have already played a set with New Friends (“no-no new”) and as part of the rock lottery he won’t be done with the week just yet. Instead his band Fist City will open for Los Angeles punk pop outfit Bleached when they play the Hifi Club on Tuesday September 10. Sisters Jennifer and Jessica Clavin formed the melodic group out of the ashes of their previous fist-pumping punk band Mika Miko. Their new stuff has amassed an international following and a nice little career which is impressive since it will be impossible to ever write a new song as good as Mika Miko’s “Wild Bore.” They should just play that all night.
Having Bleached in town is a rare treat but you’ll be facing a difficult decision on Tuesday night because it also includes an enormous rap show at Commonwealth. Detroit spitter Danny Brown is finally going to release his Old LP this month and all signs point to another collection of manic shout raps atop futuristic beats. He’ll hit Commonwealth with Action Bronson the New York-based foodie who sounds like he’s stolen Ghostface Killah’s voice on some Little Mermaid shit.
That’s two for two on solid bookings from the Hifi/Commonwealth masterminds this week and they’ll close it out with another world-class showcase on Wednesday September 11 with an appearance from U.K.-based dance music experimenter Ikonika (real name Sara Abdel-Hamid) at the Hifi Club. Her critically acclaimed sonic experiments have put her in a league of her own on a global scale.