If you were a morose teen in the ’80s, odds are you spent many a sullen afternoon spinning Meat is Murder and The Queen is Dead while wondering why your parents didn’t understand you the way The Smiths did. Well, it’s time to relive those gloriously gloomy days with a dance floor full of like-minded mopers — Smiths bassist Andy Rourke will be spinning at the Republik this Friday, March 5. Expect a mix of classic British rock and Britpop, plus whatever new sounds have crossed his ears since taking up a gig as a DJ on Manchester’s XFM. And whatever you do, don’t smile.
Rourke’s DJ set will be hard to top, but if you’re more in the mood for live music, there’s always Lethbridge rockers Endangered Ape at Broken City, along with Calgary garage-rockers Bikeland, Ape spin-off Fist City and Krang, a supremely noisy psychedelic quartet from Edmonton. The Apes broke up about six months ago, and the members have been keeping busy in Fist City, Myelin Sheaths and a whole host of other acts, but it looks like they just can’t stay away from each other, and the time apart has likely just enhanced the band’s glorious sloppiness.
Or, you can trade those ear-piercing guitar tones for straight-up solid songcraft when bluesy local rocker Matt Blais releases his latest album, Let It Out, at The Gateway at SAIT (with a pre-show at the University of Calgary’s That Empty Space). He’s recruited like-minded Calgary folk-rockers Chris Gheran and Noel Johnson to help celebrate the release.
Lest you think that the week starts and ends with Friday, country legend Merle Haggard is coming to town on Tuesday, March 9. The songwriter’s place in the country canon was secure when he went from the audience of Johnny Cash’s San Quentin Prison performances to appearing on Cash’s variety show. He’ll be at the Jack Singer Concert Hall.
And, rounding out the week, The Republik is hosting another pair of don’t-miss-’em shows on March 10 and 11, first with New York hip hop duo The Beatnuts, and then Edmonton punk legends SNFU. As long as this Republik manages to stay open longer than the last one, it looks like the venue’s legacy is intact.