Five to see at BIG Winter Classic: Friday

The Ramblin’ Ambassadors, Inner City Brewing, 4:30 p.m.: Perfect. Skip out of work a little early and get your BIG weekend amped up to 11. Legendary local guitar slinger Brent Cooper is still blazing instrumental garage rock trails with this, his twangy, twisting and chugging successor to past glory, Huevos Rancheros.

Lucky Sonne, Last Best (inside), 8:30 p.m.: Can’t even pretend not to play favourites here. Frontman Luke Colborne is a genius. His alt-country-prairie-folk-rock-pop songs would have made any other artist — one who was willing to follow it up with self-promotion and any amount of touring or push, mind you — a fucking superstar. Go to this show, buy their latest album Be.So.Bold and hear how good it can be when it’s at its goodest.

Gone Cosmic, Broken City (inside), 9 p.m.: See them now and say you saw them when. Fresh off of announcing their signing to the Kozmik Artifactz label before the April release of their debut Sideways in Time (so bleeding bloody good, by the way), this Calgary supergroup comprised of members of Chron Goblin, Witchstone and Joplin-esque lung pummeler Abbie Thurgood, formerly of The Torchettes, are a heavy, groovy, psych-storm, headtrip. You’re welcome.

The Coathangers, Broken City (inside), 11:30 p.m.: Refined punk. Contradictory? Not really. You’ll understand why when you hear the smash, bash and pop of this Atlanta act. Noisy, tuneful, catchy, angry, loud and actually quite lovely when you get right down to it. Wolf Alice minus the shoegaze but with all of the explosive energy. One of this year’s BIG headliners and a big reason it’s become the big deal that it is.

The Courtneys, The Palomino (basement), 12:30 a.m.: Shonen Knife and The Vaselines from Canada’s west coast — shaken and stirred. Pure, unadulterated, sweet, shiny, pristine power-pop served up by this Vancouver trio. What better way to be sent home on a Friday night than with a beer in your belly and a song in your head and heart?