Getting cosmic with Calgary’s best and brightest
Halloween has come and gone, leaving hazy memories of a night on the town dressed as Woody Allen. But let’s leave that behind us, and move on to this month’s news.
Tomorrow night (November 9), the good folks at BeatRoute and The Plaza have put together a Joy Division cover night to coincide with the opening of the new Ian Curtis biopic, Control . Following a screening of the film at 9:45 p.m., The Ostrich , Sudden Infant Dance Syndrome , Kris Ellestad , Barbara (a.k.a. Jordan Hossack of Azeda Booth ) and the new band Prussia will take to the stage. This is the way, step inside….
In case you've been living under a rock (or didn't read my column last month), The Ostrich also have a new self-titled seven-inch, and it’s super rockin’. They’re opening for Thin Lizzy fans Pride Tiger on November 11 at Broken City, and then playing with Calgary’s Forbidden Dimension (who also have a new CD, what do you know?) on November 24 at The Marquee Room.
Not many bands would name themselves after an ancient Pythagorean symbol of the cosmos, but that’s just what The Tetraktys have done. A long time in the making, the local psychedelic pop group is picking up steam.
“I've been working on it in one form or another for at least three years,” explains singer-songwriter-guitarist Barnaby Bennett. “It was only after seeing bands like The Consonant C , The Azymyth and Honeybear that I felt this great, positive sense of community starting to develop. Now, space for personal expression is constantly being created and encouraged, and I’ve started getting more excited about playing shows.”
Excepting Bennett, the band’s lineup is currently a revolving door, but he says that suits him just fine. “Our membership seems to shrink and expand like a living organism at times, and that’s the way I like it,” he says. “If friends are interested in playing with me, I've tried to make it fit in a way that works for them, not the other way around.”
The Tetraktys are now recording an ambitious debut album with Arran Fisher (of The Summerlad ) at his Acoustikitty studio. “As an album, it will be a collection of songs interwoven in a loosely formed narrative thread,” explains Bennett. “We are taking our time with it though, and it’s going to come out when it’s ready. And we’re going to be pressing it on vinyl.”
If you’d like to pick up what they’re putting down, The Tetraktys play at EMMEDIA on November 17 with The Azymyth and The Stolen Organ Family Band .
Although they don’t have any shows currently listed, Vailhalen have posted four new songs on their MySpace page. “Vampire in the Bedroom” sounds like they’ve been listening to Talking Heads lately.
Vailhalen front man Chris Vail and drummer Chris Dadge are also involved in another cool Calgary band called Phil Withers . Taking inspiration from artists like Robyn Hitchcock , Robert Pollard and Elvis Costello , this is a much poppier and more accessible endeavour than Dadge’s other, other band The Bent Spoon Trio . Check out their MySpace page for four songs, or catch Phil Withers live November 10 at the Marquee, where they’re playing with The Fast Romantics .
Calgary’s thrashiest, trashiest punk band, The Skitzos, have also upped two new tunes to their MySpace page, “Catch Me” and “Let Loose.” They’re getting positive reviews for their recently released four-song seven-inch Faster! Louder! Better! , and for good reason — the thing's a killer. Now play a show already Skitzos.
Finally, genre-smashing sound scientists Axis of Conversation have two shows in Calgary near the end of the month, first on November 28 at The Ship and Anchor (with Jane Vain & The Dark Matter ), then on November 30 at Broken City (with Fox Opera ). If you haven't heard AxiCon’s excellent debut Delusions Of Safety yet, cruise on down to the ol’ MySpace, they’ve got three tracks up.
If you’re a local artist doing something interesting and want to have it written about, drop me a line at either firstname.lastname@example.org or myspace.com/alvy411. Shalom.