By Sarah Kitteringham
Editor’s Note: Our December print edition of this reflects the initial lineup for the Dec. 16 Lou Reed tribute show at the National Music Centre as of press time. The lineup has now been changed.
CALGARY — Ahhhhh, good old December. The month when the weather gets so cold that most international bands balk at the opportunity to potentially spend weeks in a van, driving in subzero temperatures. Instead, everyone hunkers down for the impending holiday and local bands play great gigs by the dozens. Lots of charity shows and parties are going down this month, so it’s a great time to see your favourite Calgary bands.
Before I get into show listings, I’d like to say thank you to our readers and farewell. As of press time, I’ll have started a new position at Canada Boy Vinyl, and will have stepped down from my job at BeatRoute as Music Editor. I’ve really enjoyed this past year and am thrilled to say that my colleague Colin Gallant will be taking over for me for the January issue. Meanwhile, I will remain on at BeatRoute as a contributor and as the Shrapnel editor. Thanks to everyone I’ve worked with, the plethora of fantastic local bands I’ve had the privilege of talking too, and all our readers for the support.
Now, without further ado, here we go!
On Thursday, December 3rd, head to Broken City in Calgary for a noisy, atonal, ugly drone music gig featuring Burro. They will perform alongside Vancouver’s Nothingness, and “kraut drone” act Patrick Seager. Doors are at 9 p.m., cover is $9.
Canadian music icon Dagan Harding will perform at the Palomino Smokehouse & Bar on Friday, December 4th. Following his tenure in post hardcore band Despistado and rock outfit Geronimo, the musician went solo; releasing this solo album Best Times back in January 2015. Now, his songs are right in the emo tradition. Think Dashboard Confessional, American Football…. So right up your alley.
Nite Owl will host The Browns LP release show on Saturday, December 5th. The Calgary based horror punk band will be releasing their album The Return of…, their follow-up full length to 2004’s …And Now the Screaming Starts. The Cripple Creek Fairies and Julius Sumner Miller will also perform. Tickets are $10 at the door. That same evening, Lazarus Death Cult will perform at Tubby Dog for their demo tape release show. Monroeville Music, Janitor Scum, and Private Investigators will also perform. If neither of those float your boat, head to Dickens for The Paige Woodbury Band, Free the Cynics, Black Phoenix Orchestra, and Frankie McQueen. You can also head to the Palomino for Winnipeg based rock/soul outfit Noble Thiefs.
Spirit of Truth is holding an open meeting at the National Music Centre on Thursday, December 10th at 3:30 p.m. to discuss Garbage Daze IV, which will take place June 2 until 4th, 2016. On the agenda? Gathering “valuable feedback and fresh ideas from the local music community. We welcome anyone from the greater music community especially those who have previously attended or regularly attend our shows or the festival in the past.” They are also actively looking for volunteers for the festival, email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested or head to the meeting.
Head to Vern’s on the evening of December 10th for the Twitch EP release show, featuring Pandemik9, Nebulae Complex and DJ: El Chamleon. Twitch is a “unique combination of industrial, heavy metal, and hip hop;” the other bands perform merge industrial, noise, classical, and experimental music to jarring, dissonant results. Cover is $10.
Broken City will be hosting the Windigo video/single release party on Friday, December 11th. They psychedelic, beautiful indie group will be performing alongside The Heirlooms and Landfork; doors are at 9 p.m., cover is $10.
Back to Your Roots II will occur at the Blind Beggar on Saturday, December 12th. Head over to hear covers of Paramore, Blink 182, A Day to Remember, Billy Talent, and Say Anything by Calgary bands Year Over Year, Sparrows Over Spain, Raised by Wolves, The Path Less Travelled, and Why, Marilyn. Meanwhile, Dickens will be hosting their sixth annual Hang the DJ – Lump of Coal edition. It’s a special show, as organizer/DJ Chris Hewitt will be giving away “a special Lump of Coal CD compilation of songs from the past year by both new and familiar bands.” There is no cover until 10 p.m.; after then it costs only $5 to get into Calgary’s best dance party.
“The [Ship & Anchor Pub’s] summertime patio sensation – Rob & Eric’s Punk Rock Sing-a-long Fun time – is back for a little festive fun. On Wednesday, December 16th, the boys are bringing their booze soaked anthems inside and adding in some Christmas cheer!” So yeah… you heard it here! Head down for some festive cheer!
That same evening, Crystal Eyes are putting on a fun ‘Christmas-esque’ Lou Reed tribute show where five bands are going to cover songs from the Lou Reed canon at National Music Centre. Lineup will include Power Buddies, Velvet Swans and Rena, Sleep Kit and Venetian Blinds. Head online for the finalized details, and head to NMC for such a perfect day!
Several of the best local offerings of the month are taking place on Friday, December 18th
Thursday, December 19th. First up? Head to Broken City for extra happy ghost!!!, who will perform alongside Morewine, Sunglaciers, and Shukov. Cover is $9, head down to do some happy/sad dancing. You can also boogey on down to the beautiful Festival Hall in Inglewood, for the all-ages shindig HighKicksMas! Obviously, HighKicks are performing, and it’s going to be a blast! If you’d like to support the annual Sled Island Rock Lotto, then the Palomino is where you should be.
Nurse your day-after-Christmas hangover with some rock ‘n’ roll. Head to Dickens for The Outer, Flowshine, Open Air, and The Northern Coast. Meanwhile, the Palomino will be hosting a Boxing Day party whose details weren’t available at press time. Head to Ye Olde Interwebs for more on that.
The always-joyous celebration that is the Brian Setzer Orchestra will be unleashed upon the Grey Eagle Casino on Tuesday, December 29th. Get on your dancing shoes and classiest threads!
Finally…. New Year’s Eve. The night of a thousand shows, countless bottles of champagne, and kissing strangers. Only a few shows were booked as of BeatRoute’s press time, so be sure to check online for your options. That said, the Palomino is hosting a party with Calgary’s own “sweaty, punchy, rock ‘n’ roll” party band Cowpuncher. Head down to see them alongside No River and The Pilgrims that is sure to be a blast.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Good Night, Good Bye, and Good Luck!AB, Alberta, Calgary rock