Calgary’s coming up music: Sled Island Music & Arts Festival

Ah, these festival thingys just don’t stop! Calgary Is Humming! Where did all of this music come from? When did Calgarians put down their AC-DC albums and pick up — the SAVK, or Faux Fur?

Okay, so I’m jaded by years of listening to music no-one else seems to know about, but now there’s a whole bloody Festival of the stuff, BIG Festival coming, and it’s duned exciting.

Poster for The Weird Shits
This photo is fairly self-explanatory. Playing the Twister Show May 7 @ 7
Promotional photo from

I stumbled across the Sled Island 2010 Music & Film Festival page thanks to a chain or research leading from 1) a Calgary Culture website subsection called 2) First Thursdays, through 3) MySpace pages playing music that made me laugh and my daughter cringe, to 5) a long, frenetic page filled with the names of bands from all over North America and overseas. And they’re going to play here, all over the downtown and around the city, This year’s schedule isn’t complete yet, but here’s some of the places they played last year:

Loose Moose Theatre, The Lord Nelson, Marion Nicoll Gallery, The Marquee Room, The New Black, Olympic Plaza, The Palomino Smokehouse, The Plaza Theatre, Royal Canadian Legion #1 (Upstairs & Downstairs), The Ship & Anchor Pub, The Stetson, TrépanierBaer, Tubby Dogg, The Underground, The Uptown Stage & Screen, Vern’s, The Warehouse,

And that’s only from ‘L’ onward (I like how it’s ‘Upstairs & Downstairs’ at the Legion)!

Yes, I know I’ve outed myself now as somewhat clueless about the alternative scene that has developed in the past decade, but I’m, as they say in the movies, back.

And Calgary’s coming up music.

Preparatory to this wonderful musical blowout, a little Sled Island preview type-of-thing-without-intending-to-be is happening this Friday night at The Local Library (in the Central United Church), 131 – 7th Ave SW. At 7:00 p.m., you’ll be able to see the ‘Twister Show’, with the GrownUps, faux fur, SAVK, and Weird Shits. Three of these bands will be appearing with the dozens of other Sled Island participants in June (look it up yourself; you’ve got to have something to do!).

This music makes my sense jump around, which is one of the purposes of art and cultural events. To stimulate participation and conversation is certainly the highest goal of any artist.

If nothing else, the names of the bands demands that they be heard. Don’t you want to hear a band that calls itself ‘Makeout Videotape’? Don’t you?

Well, I do.

Those four at the Twister are all Calgary-based, and from what I’ve heard online, I need to see them live. And so do you, if you like that sensory stimulation thing I mentioned before.

Posted by Hannah Rutherford

Author: Carey Rutherford

Swallowed by the mutual loves of words and music (but far too chicken-shit to perform them with a band), Carey’s writing career started slowly as a freelance writer in 2003, starved him nearly to personal bankruptcy until 2008, and changed directions while writing for FastForward, Beacon Calgary, GayCalgary, and Examiner magazines. With the death of many old-school periodicals, and the explosion of musical diversity in Calgary, the modern approach to writing about live music performance in the Calgary region presented uncluttered landscapes for the focussed passion that Carey’s conversations with musicians, drag queens, festival producers and small animals has uncapped. He was moulded by the brilliance of paper-based periodicals old and new (Life, rolling Stone, Swerve! and Adbusters etc.), and sees the info-verse as needing creative, empathetic, but clear-eyed Agents to communicate these performances.