I leave town for a weekend…
What a weekend to not be in Regina.
I’m kicking myself, you guys. I’ll be in Winnipeg this weekend for a very important trip with my special lady to a city that’s not as bad as people (from Saskatchewan) think it is but I have an obligation (as a Saskatchewanian) to pretend like it stinks. But I’ll be missing SO MUCH good music, you guys!
It’s almost hard to keep it all straight but let’s start with Friday night.
Birds Are Dinosaurs are undoubtedly Regina’s most interesting group. The post-rock instrumental group frequently has a lot of members, including two drummers, and creates many-faceted songs that range from ominous to ecstatic, urgent to patient, bright to bleak, and everything in between. They also but on a downright entrancing live show, weaving textured arrangements with a studied expertise. They put out their first full-length back in 2009 and, word has it, they’re going to be working on another one. You’ll likely get a taste of that new material when they headline this month’s chapter of CJTR’s 10th Anniversary Showcase Series at the Exchange on Friday night at the Exchange. Also on the bill is the newly-renamed Sun Zoom Sparx, formerly known as Coelacanthdance. I promise, their music is better than their new name and easier to wrap your head around. Tickets, I believe, are $10 at the door.
HOWEVER, friends, conflict abounds on Friday night as well! Also playing tomorrow at the delightful Creative City Center are Surrey’s Sumner Brothers. Described by our friends over at Herohill as a roots act that even the most ardent Willie Nelson fans would have trouble finding fault in, the west coasters have toured Canada multiple times on the strength of a few criminally underrated albums (so underrated we haven’t even covered them before, in fact). Thankfully they continue to traipse across the country, guitars in tow, playing to ever-larger audiences. If a more traditional type of songcraft is your thing I highly recommend checking them out. Local musical mainstay Cam Wensel’s latest effort Black Drink Crier opens as well! Tickets are just $8 at the door (1843 Hamilton Street above Loggie’s Shoes).
Montreal by way of Calgary act Braids (mentioned all too briefly in our round-up of Regina Folk Festival’s first day) are also visiting the Exchange this weekend. They’re playing Saturday night with Pepper Rabbit and Painted Palms, two bands I literally know nothing about. I mean it; literally nothing. Braids, however, are tearing up the indie rock world right now. Their album Native Speaker has been short-listed for the Polaris Prize and is, according to some, an odds-on favourite to win. It’s layered, twisted versions of pop and rock songs are enough of a head trip to set them apart. Just take the Winnipeg Free Press’ word for it. This one is going to be jam-packed, so get your tickets at Vintage Vinyl if you don’t already.
Sunday is also going to be VERY exciting, as Hollerado roll into the Queen City on their “Meet The Mayor” tour. The concept has been so successful even the band has been surprised by it, but it goes like this: a month or so ago when they announced the show dates for their latest cross-Canada trek, the pop rock band joked on Twitter that they would endeavor to meet the mayor of every city they played. CJTR’s own Indie Insider and I relayed the message to Regina’s own Pat Fiacco and, being the amiable and eager politician that he is, he agreed to greet the group when they arrive in the city. From there, the idea spiraled, as Mayor Nenshi in Calgary also got on board. Odds are good they’ll talk about that meeting during their set, but even if they don’t you still get some of the finest pop rock happening in Canada these days. Young Rival and Wildlife open this one.
So there you have it folks. Way more amazing music than Regina is used to seeing in a month, let alone a week, crammed into a three day span. Please, miss as little of this line-up as you can.
Birds are dinosaurs Facebook is here, because I can’t find anything else.
Sumner Brothers are on iTunes and they also have a web store.
Braids’ album is pretty cheap on iTunes and they also have a web store.
Hollerado are also iTunes fans, I guess or you can attempt to navigate their, um, unique website for physical purchase links. I sure as hell am not.