April 28th, 2010
For years, William Mimnaugh (a.k.a. WiL) was a staple in the Calgary pub scene, playing acoustic shows to full houses nearly every night.
He left for B.C. some years ago but his loyal fans still reminisce and of course, the music lives on. The roots, folk-rock artist released his third album In This Together this month and according to most critics, it’s his best to date. Recorded in Calgary and Nashville, the album is a mix of upbeat tempo tunes (“Baby Baby”) and melancholic twangy arrangements (“Way Too Long”).
He’s often compared to Ray LaMontagne but his fans will tell you there’s no one like WiL.
$9.99 at iTunes.
March 17th, 2010
Unless you hail from Winnipeg or are in the indie-music know, the name John K. Samson might not ring a bell. But as the frontman and songwriter for The Weakerthans, you’ve probably heard his soothing and melodic voice many of times.
Last November, Samson released a three-song solo record titled City Route 85, inspired by his Winnipeg home. He plays an acoustic set this Sunday and we'll be singing along to his set (off key, of course).
Tickets $28.25 at Ticketmaster. John K. Samson, March 21, 2010, 8 p.m., Rozsa Centre, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, 403-220-5421
February 26th, 2010
When little Saxon unearths his Dad’s old turntables (and Metallica collection) and Vivienne becomes a backstage baby, make sure they don’t become the next It’s All Gone Pete Tong by protecting their hearing with these cool muffs.
Called Peltor Hearing Protectors (let’s keep that between us), the adjustable hot pink and bright blue earphones shield little ears from harmful noises while letting in ambient sound at hockey games, concerts, and parades.
Rock on, mom.
Age 1 and up. $39.95 at www.dandelionkids.ca
February 3rd, 2010
Technically it’s a playlist on our iPod, but to honour the old-school medium, here’s our top five tunes by Calgary acts we can’t seem to get enough of recently.
1. “Morningside” off Woodpigeon's just released album Die Stadt Muzikanten. While at Nina Ricci, designer Olivier Theyskens used a song off Woodpigeon’s first album for his spring/summer 2009 runway show.
2. “Had Enough of It” by The Dudes. Former Calgarian and Broken Social Scene songstress Lisa Lobsinger makes an appearance on this tune from their 2009 Blood Guts Bruises Cuts, the rock ode to the band’s tough year.
3. “Anatomical Literacy” by Jordan Klassen. This young artist released his first full-length album, Tempest and Winter, last year and had us swooning over his charming melodies with the first listen.
4. “New Years Eve” by Dojo Workhorse. We dare you to try not to sing along to this feel-good tune by Dan Vacon’s other ensemble (he’s also part of The Dudes). We so hope “she” kissed him that fateful New Year’s Eve.
5. “Suzie I Love You” by Michael Bernard Fitzgerald. With that raspy voice and adorable look, Fitzgerald makes us all wish we were named Suzie.
All songs available on iTunes.
January 20th, 2010
The 25-year mark often results in a quarter-life crisis for those fearing the inevitable adulthood, but CJSW isn’t letting a number stand in its way of rocking out like the good old days.
In honour of 25 years on air, the 90.9 FM station is celebrating this Saturday with a mega birthday bash, 25 bands, 25 Bucks, 25 Years.
U of C’s MacEwan Hall will be filled with beloved Calgary bands, past and present, performing throughout the night.
On the scene acts like Matt Masters, Dojo Workhorse and Woodpigeon (pictured) will join old-school rockers reuniting like The Ripchords, Shecky Forme and Mico for an evening of Calgary rock from the last 25 years.
Reminiscing about old times is certainly expected.
25 Years on the Dial, Saturday, January 23 at 7 p.m. at MacEwan Hall, tickets here.
January 6th, 2010
Die-hard fans of Tegan and Sara will remember the homegrown duo playing at the old Blue Banana Lounge at the University of Calgary in the late ’90s.
Thankfully, the sisters have graduated to bigger and better things. Their sixth studio album, Sainthood, was released in late October and the band has just embarked on a North American tour making a stop in Calgary this weekend for a double header Friday and Saturday.
The new album is a mix of sing-along, bob your head tunes with enough edge to add that authentic rock ’n’ roll feel.
We love a good sister act.
August 12th, 2009
Think of the four-stringed member of the violin family and concert halls and symphonies come to mind. But the Portland Cello Project is challenging those preconceived notions and adding punk clubs and dance parties to the cello’s repertoire.
The Oregon-based group with 16 classically trained cellists launched in 2007 with the mantra of “what would happen if we added cello?” Known as PCP, the indie orchestra has collaborated with bands such as The Dandy Warhols and performed renditions of Britney Spears and Outkast tunes.
Their newest full-length release, The Thao and Justin Power Sessions, is a mix of collaborations with Thao (of Thao with the Get Down Stay Down) and Justin Power, the Portland ukulele player/singer-songwriter.
The result is an edgy mix of pop songs, moody tunes and the whimsy of the cello in a way where all genres shine.
This is our kind of classical.
$9.99 on iTunes.
July 29th, 2009
As the Virgin Festival makes its rounds, the latest conquest is next week’s set in Alberta.
We’ll be channeling our teen angst as Pearl Jam takes the stage on the first night alongside homegrown talents K-Os, Thunderheist and Mother Mother.
The second eve, Canadian lovelies Metric and Tokyo Police Club play with Edmonton’s Shout Out Out Out Out before Sunday’s headliner Billy Talent finishes off the fest.
Thank you Richard Branson.
July 21st, 2009
In honour of today’s 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, grab the moonshine (wine will do) and play this lunar-loving soundtrack while practicing your moonwalk.
10. “My Moon My Man” Feist
9. “See You on the Moon!” Great Lake Swimmers
8. “Blue Moon” Billie Holiday
7. “Bad Moon Rising” Creedence Clearwater Revival
6. “Man on the Moon” R.E.M.
5. “Moonshadow” Cat Stevens
4. “Walking on the Moon” The Police
3. “Bad Side of the Moon” April Wine
2. “Harvest Moon” Neil Young
1. “Moondance” Van Morrison
All songs available on iTunes.
July 15th, 2009
There’s not much he can’t do. Calgary artist, illustrator and musician Chad VanGaalen is a multi-talented force to be reckoned with.
Last week, VanGaalen was nominated for the $20,000 Polaris Music Prize for best Canadian album for his third LP, Soft Airplane, which critics have called "his most complete album to date" and “Neil Young meets Thurston Moore.”
The gloomy themes of songs such as “Cries of the Dead” and “Willow Tree” are contrasted with upbeat tempos and the sounds of synthesizers, resulting in catchy tunes that stay with you throughout the day.
The Polaris Music Prize winner will be announced September 21, 2009 but you can sing along to VanGaalen at next week’s Calgary Folk Festival, where he performs on July 23.
Buy Soft Airplane ($9.99) on iTunes.