By Colin Gallant
CALGARY — Hi folks! Happy official beginning of summer to you. June is a consistently huge month thanks to Sled Island, but that ain’t all of it. We’ll get into the rundown of all the other great stuff happening this month in just a second, but first, a quick aside:
I just wanted to take a moment to disclose that some of the stories in our special Sled Island section of our June print edition were written by yours truly. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m an employee there for a portion of the year, so it didn’t seem right not to mention that somewhere. With that out of the way, here are some of the awesome events taking place this month. For more, check your favourite club’s listings.
Fewer and fewer Calgarians seem to taking vacations in San Francisco ever since Dirty Bird Records started keeping an active presence in the city. This time up is Worthy, who while not a house name yet, has shown some serious promise in his ability to impishly skirt the line of respectful music historian and EDM agitator. Catch him at The Hifi Club on the 6th.
For something a little more big tent, you have a safe bet with CRNKN on Sunday the 11th at Commonwealth. This is part of raver mecca Shambhala’s “A Journey Home” tour to promote their festival coming up in August. If you can’t or don’t want to brave rural B.C. this summer, this is just the thing for you. Plus, hometown faves Smalltown DJs are never a letdown.
Sometimes, the answer to a mystery isn’t important. For example, how did the space that housed The Back Alley become the most reliable venue for solid hip-hop in the city? Marquee Beer Market & Stage have managed to get the undefeated Dipset into Calgary as a stop on their exclusive reunion tour. That’s right: Cam’ron, Juelz Santana and Jim Jones will be sharing the stage on the 11th. Jeah, boi!
Enough fist pumpin’ and mean muggin’! Grab that special someone by the hand pull them on over to Hifi on the 11th for the smoldering Shash’u. Everything from space funk and boogie to refined hip-hop are up for grabs in his throbbing, minimal sets. Like his sometimes collaborator Kaytranada, Shash’u has earned international recognition for a reason.
No genre is immune to the saxophone, not even EDM. Big Gigantic, the “livetronica” duo from Boulder, CO, are coming to town! DJs who rest on predictable staples like the classic build and drop, high tempo handclaps or irritating vocal sampling are often called lazy, but not Big Gigantic. EDM tropes aren’t going away, folks, so let’s take the little victories where we find them. Catch this twosome do more than just press play at TEN Nightclub on the 12th.
As we all know, Tupac is alive and well, hiding out in an opulent palace on an island undiscovered by mere mortals like us. Until his Second Coming arrives, The Outlawz are here to bring closer to his legacy than any hologram ever could. His protégés from back in the day are making an intimate appearance at Dickens Pub on Friday, June 12th.
I say this with love: it wouldn’t be Calgary if there weren’t more than one #novowels, #allcaps EDM superstar rolling through. Mad Decent’s TWRK are either the sonic equivalent of your best friend or worst enemy, depending on how you feel about men in tank tops and bass drops. Like the Jason Statham of music, even their haters can’t call them weak. Drop by Hifi on June 18th for bass assaults and trap drums.
Elvis, Michael Jackson, Beenie Man. Why wait for Prince George to grow up and embarrass his parents with an ill-fated rudeboy phase when you can have the absolute realist thing in dancehall? The King himself drops into Marquee Beer Market & Stage at the end of June. Catch him on the 30th before Kanye and Kendrick find another imitator to sample for their hits.