Mike Bell’s Top 5 Sled Island 2018 picks for Friday

Shearing Pinx, Palomino (main floor) at 8 p.m.

Love the noise? They bring the noise. The glorious, glorious mind-frying experi-punk noise. These best coast vets will get your Friday night off to an adrenalized start — like a Jack and Coke and Red Bull plunged straight into your heart a la Vincent Vega. Hey we’re in the deep end of Sled now, baby. Might as well dive right the hell on in.

Bat Fangs, Broken City (patio) at 9 p.m.

If you’ve had a chance to see the kids of the Napalmpom and thought they were something that was the bee’s knees, meet their sisses from another missus. A whole lotta ’70s rock and melodic power-pop packed into one muscular FM radio-loving gut punch. The North Carolina duo of Betsy Wright (Ex Hex) and Laura King (Flesh Wounds and Speed Stick) shred, bang and wail their way to something pretty pleasing. If you missed their Thursday night show at the Pal, smarten up and get to Broken City for this relatively early gig.

Slates, Nite Owl (library) at 10:30 p.m.

Some mighty sounds from Dirt City two and a half hours to the north sent our way via the QEII. This quartet play both kinds of music — the punk and the rock. And they play them well, in a very tasty, no-nonsense but smart and rather fresh way that recalls such ’80s and ’90s names of the North American movement as Fugazi, Husker Du and Coffin Break or even relative newbies Paw. As a bonus, you’ll be seeing them in one of the final shows the Nite Owl will be hosting — they, sadly, like Distortion will be closing their doors for good and Calgary will be lesser as a result. Go, see a great band and thank the staff for what they’ve done to help live music in this city thrive.

Expanda Fuzz, Palomino (main floor) at 11:30 p.m.

Another duo that makes a bigger bang than they have any right to. They describe themselves on their Bandcamp page as: “Like Mazzy Star run through a vintage fuzz pedal and synched to beats.” Their Facebook page: “Think Kim Deal fronting the Velvet Underground, or Mary Timony jamming with Suicide.” Somewhere in between you’ll find the sweet, sweet spot that this Ottawa pair inhabits.

Deerhoof, Royal Canadian Legion No. 1 (main floor) at 12:30 a.m.

Their finger- or, shall we say, hoofprints (sorry, but in my defence I am actually a dad) are all over this year’s festival, as the 2018 guest curators. They also did the live soundtrack to a World Cup footie match the other day at the Palomino, which was apparently all kinds of San Fran smoked awesomesauce. But this is the show fans have been waiting for since their last appearance in town eight years ago, a headlining set (Sledlining set? I’ll see myself out …) at one of this city’s true gems of a venue (or gemu … never mind) from these indie pop-rock heroes.

Mike Bell has been covering the Calgary music scene for the past 25 years with publications such as VOX, Fast Forward, the Calgary Sun and, most recently, the Calgary Herald. He is currently the music writer and content editor for theYYSCENE.com. Follow him on Twitter/@mrbell_23 or email him at mike@theyyscene.com. He likes beer. Buy him one.