Calgary Buzz: C'mon Feel The Folk Friday July 25, 2003 @ 01:00 PM By: ChartAttack.com Staff

Posted by on 10 May 2004

While a Folk Festival might not sound like the type of place that would attract indie hipsters and rockers alike, for the four days of Calgary's version of the festival, the beer gardens become a mixer for members of the local music scene, both young and old.

Calgary Buzz: C'mon Feel The Folk Friday July 25, 2003 @ 01:00 PM By: ChartAttack.com Staff

While a Folk Festival might not sound like the type of place that would attract indie hipsters and rockers alike, for the four days of Calgary's version of the festival, the beer gardens become a mixer for members of the local music scene, both young and old. This year has proved to be no exception. There are other reasons to go to the festival than to sit around drinking cups of $4 beer with people you see almost every night, of course ´ the line-up this year is good enough to make up for the errant hacky sacks, hemp "jewelry" vendors and middle aged hippies who get pissed off when your blanket is touching theirs.

Using the loosest possible definition of folk music, the organizers for this year's festival have brought in the likes of Elvis Costello, Buck 65 and more traditional fare such as Ani DiFranco and Kathleen Edwards. One of the big draws for us scenester types, though, is the presence of the Agnostic Gospel Mountain Choir. Fresh off the heels of blowing Howe Gelb off the Night Gallery stage last Tuesday, the band will be performing both on their own and alongside a myriad of performers in the workshop segments of the festival. With a membership that includes veterans of numerous Calgary indie rock bands, they have finally released their highly anticipated CD, Saint Hubert, and it does not disappoint. The bets are on as to how fast the group will sell out of their disc this weekend ´ it's that damn good.

Speaking of new releases, there has been a sudden glut of local records coming out. Most notable of the bunch is the return of The Von Zippers with The Crime Is Now, their third full-length for Estrus records. Already climbing the charts nationally, and with the U.S. sure to follow, the album features 11 blasts of shit hot rock 'n roll. The three years between releases have seen the band hone their sound to the point where it feels more like a force of nature than a guitar being played through a couple of Marshall stacks. The band makes it clear with the lead off track "Agenda" that they are in no mood to mess around, and they don't slow the pace down throughout.

As for what's happening to keep your feet happy and your liver working hard, there's no shortage of shows to attend. If joining the unwashed masses at the Folk Fest isn't your cuppa tea, get out your skinny ties and tapered pants for a night of ska with Montreal's Kingpins (July 26, Night Gallery), who are joined by Mike Molotov And The Flying Cocktails and The Afterbeat. Those with a hankering for volume will appreciate the latest addition to Calgary's "jam" scene ´ the fellows in When All's Been Said have begun hosting hardcore jam every Monday night (Hannibal's Pub). Yes, you read right: a hardcore jam. On top of that, local screamers Joule will make another attempt to damage the hearing of their fans (July 27, Castle Pub). The pairing of Dolly Sillito and Marigold Santos should prove to be one of the few coffee shop shows worth going out of your way to see this year (July 29, Cadence Cafe), and to top off your local content, Vancouver's Blood Meridian is joined by Mico (August 2, Night Gallery), who are still riding the success of their recent release Outside The Unbearable Grows. With the news that they have been picked up as openers for the upcoming Weakerthans tour, the band has a lot of reasons to celebrate. And with that, I heed the call of the Folk Festival beer gardens. I'll be the one wearing the Kill All Hippies T-Shirt and two-fisting the plastic cups. Derek McEwen Derek McEwen is the glue that holds Calgary together. His column appears bi-weekly.