If you haven’t gone through a punk rock period, you haven’t experienced adolescence. Nonetheless, if you’re a late-comer to the game, don’t worry. Instead, head to the Distillery on Thursday, June 2 for a crash course. Yep, there’s Tony Sly, a favourite to all the Fat Wreck heads in the ’90s from his time in No Use For a Name. There’s melodicore-turned-folk songwriter Dave Hause. But the real x-factor is Mikey Erg, who led one of the decade’s finest pop-punk bands (The Ergs, duh). Or if surf and pinup girls are more your thing, head instead to the Ironwood for Lovebullies.
The punk rock continues the following evening, Friday, June 3, this time with a decidedly local focus. Head to the Palomino for the soulful swagger of Rum Runner, who prepare to release an LP, with more Calgary faves in the form of scene vets Knucklehead and Black Dirt of the West. It’s the type of punk rock that’s more into beer-swilling than PCP. Call that a good thing.
Next, country’s on the bill on Saturday, June 4. Back to the Palomino, Smokin’ 45s bring their something-billy to a headlining bill, along with the always-on Buzz Elroy. The biggest surprise of the night, however, might be the Kingston, Ont. Tom Savage Trio, which draws easy comparisons to nu-school alt-country — see: Hold Steady’s more tender ends or Son Volt — and old-school cow-punk like The Cramps. For the louder end of the spectrum, the infectious riffage (and sometimes impossible high-pitched vocals) of Stinger lands at The Distillery. Hip hop more your style? Waster and Transit hit the Marquee Room for Sleazy Apparel’s launch party.
Onto the following week, catch Rob Lennerd on Monday, June 6 at the Ironwood. A recent recipient of a Calgary Folk Music Festival songwriting award, he’ll be performing his stunning brand of historic folk. No, really, we were actually being serious: He’ll be performing songs from an album called A Fistful of Alberta History. It’ll kind of be like Mr. Berube’s class all over again. Only with beer.
Round out that week by catching Kris Ellestad — whose No Man is Land LP could have earned Polaris nods, had anyone heard it — who hits the Marquee Room on Thursday, June 9. Mike Edel and Steph MacPherson join in on the fun.