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live music

Hot Date: Taste of Calgary

Aug 16 – 19 Savour the flavours of Calgary’s delicious and diverse cuisine at this weekend’s annual Taste of Calgary event at the Eau Claire Festival Plaza.

Over 35 restaurants and beverage vendors from across the city serve up bite-sized versions of signature menu items. Sampling tickets are $1 each, and menu items range in price from one to five tickets.

Menu items include sumptuous sliders from the recently opened Black Betty Burgers & Wine Bar, regionally sourced fusion creations from the new upscale Downtownfood, New York strip loin from Ric’s Grill, pub classics from Jameson’s Irish Pub and numerous other delights from Calgary’s best eateries. (more…)

Weekend Roundup August 10 – 12

Enjoy Calgary’s beautiful August weather at these great outdoor events this weekend and relax on Sunday by watching the Summer Olympics’ closing ceremonies.

AFRIKADEY! FESTIVAL Saturday Aug 11

On Saturday, the Afrikadey! Festival at Prince’s Island Park celebrates Calgary’s rich African culture, 10 am until 10 pm. Merchants and food vendors will be set up around the park, and the main stage features a star-studded lineup including Sudanese hip-hop act Emmanuel Jal and contemporary Ethiopian ensemble Krar Collective. Tickets $25 adult, $20 youth, available at the gate.

MARDA GRAS Sunday Aug 12

Experience that vibrant New Orleans Mardi Gras atmosphere right here in Calgary at this weekend’s annual Marda Gras festival. The event will be held between 33rd Avenue and 34th Avenue SW in the Marda Loop neighbourhood. (more…)

Hot Entertainment: Twin Shadow at The Gateway

Twin Shadow

Brooklyn-based musician Twin Shadow (George Lewis Jr.) brings his magnetic combination of synth, R&B and ‘80s pop to Calgary on Friday, August 10.

A regular star on the music festival circuit of the past two years, Twin Shadow released his first album, the critically praised Forget in 2010. This year he released the equally successful Confess, an album featuring the instant classic “Five Seconds.” Where Calgary recommends this show for fans of groups such as Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear and The Smiths.

Twin Shadow with guests at The Gateway 1301 16 Ave SW on the SAIT campus, Friday, August 10. Doors are at 8 pm, tickets are $22.75 and can be purchased at Prime Box Office.

Hot Date: First Thursday Art Events in the Cultural District

Tonight is the Cultural District’s monthly First Thursday event, wherein galleries in the downtown core open their doors for complimentary artist talks and receptions.

Tonight, don’t miss these events:

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) hosts the opening reception for its new exhibit, A Night of Music & Art, featuring first nations multimedia works by Carl Beam and live music by Matt Masters. (more…)

Editor’s Picks: Must-See Performances at the Calgary Folk Music Festival

Second only to The Calgary Stampede in its size and cultural importance as a summer festival, the 2012 Calgary Folk Music Festival invades Prince’s Island Park July 26 through 29.

The crowd at the CFMF. Photo: Dave Kenney.

Though festival attendance is rite of summer treasured by dedicated, perennial fans, the Calgary Folk Music Festival’s talent roster is a serious draw as well. Rock ‘n’ roll crooner Chris Isaak is the consummate showman; piano troubadour and film-score composer Randy Newman exists in his very own American folk music genre; and Saturday-night headliner Gillian Welch (in duet with guitarist Dave Rawlings) turn country music into something sweet and soulful. (more…)

Discover the Calgary Folk Music Festival

The crowd at The Calgary Folk Music Festival. Photo: Lynne Hawrelko.

One of Calgary’s most beloved summer events, The Calgary Folk Music Festival, runs Thursday through Sunday at Prince’s Island Park. Music fans and families flock to the city’s large urban park to enjoy the warm weather, take in music and comedy performances on seven stages, sip suds in the beer garden and savour the tastes of numerous food kiosks. The festival’s Johanna Schwartz gives Where Calgary the inside scoop on what 2012 festival attendees absolutely must see.

Twilight Stage programming
On Friday and Saturday night our Local 501 Stage 4 becomes the Twilight Stage, where the vibe is an up close and personal dance party. On Friday it’s funk night with Blitz the Ambassador, Shad and Melvin Gibbs Elevated Entity. On Saturday (more…)

Hot Date: Must-See Live Music in Calgary Tonight

Photo: Commonwealth Bar & Stage

SIT Interiors plays host tonight to the Calgary Folk Music Festival kick-off party, where local band Eve Hell and the Razors will perform their unique brand of ’60s surf and rockabilly. The band will also perform this coming weekend at the festival. Craft beers by Village Brewery will be served. Admission is free, show starts at 7 pm. SIT Interiors 820 11 Ave SW.

Two of Calgary’s hippest 17th Avenue eateries, Una Pizza and Wine and Ox and Angela, are holding a customer appreciation night at Commonwealth Bar and Stage tonight. Local bands the Nix Dixons and Double Fuzz will be perform. Complimentary appetizers and drink specials, the event is open to the public. The celebration will include complimentary appetizers and drink. Tickets are $5 at the door, event begins at 7 pm. Commonwealth Bar and Stage 731 10 Ave SW.

Musician and songstress Carla Olive hosts the new singer-songwriter open mic at Café Koi. The intimate café features a diverse menu of Asian-fusion dishes with numerous vegetarian options. Delicious cocktails like the Rising Sun sake martini are a must-try. Café Koi 1011 1 St SW.

Hot Date: Kensington’s Sun and Salsa Festival

Kensington Road during the festival. Photo: Kensington BRZ.

This Sunday, Kensington brings heat to the street for its fun outdoor Sun and Salsa Festival. Attendees are invited to wander the neighbourhood’s many shops and boutiques while sampling over 25 salsas lovingly prepared by a variety of the area’s businesses. (more…)

You Are Here: Old Strathcona

Image courtesy of Noel Zinger

With over 600 eclectic, independent and alternative shops and services to explore, it’s little wonder Old Strathcona is regarded as the place to experience Edmonton’s finest live theatre and music, boutique shopping, dining and nightlife. Read on for some of our top spots in this historical district and then visit www.oldstrathcona.ca for even more. (more…)

Long Weekend Roundup, September 2 to 5

Friday: The TIFF Bell Lightbox hosts a new exhibition on costume design

Friday, September 2
Marvel at the strange and beautiful creations of costume designers at the TIFF Bell Lightbox’s Canadian Film Gallery, where the exhibition Otherworldly: The Art of Canadian Costume Design opens today, with attire from Splice, The Thing, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and other films on display.

Nod your head to the beat and revel in the rhymes as k-os brings his unique blend of rap ‘n’ roll to the CNE Bandshell at Exhibition Place.

Cheer on the Flyin’ Hawaiian Chad Owens at the Rogers Centre—he’ll be looking to run back a kick or two for the Toronto Argonauts when they take on the BC Lions in week 10 Canadian Football League action.

Saturday: Barbadian chef Paul Yellin is just one of the cooks in the Hot & Spicy Food Festival's kitchen

Saturday, September 3
Brace your taste buds for the Hot and Spicy Food Festival. Head down to the Harbourfront Centre to feast on fiery fare from around the world. Music, film, dance, and cooking demos are all on the menu.

Support the ongoing earthquake and tsunami relief effort in Japan at the Concert for Japan at Downsview Park. FTISLAND, Vas Vega, traditional Japanese drummers and others perform. Dress up as your favourite Japanese anime character for a chance to win $1,000.

Cool evening breezes and Shakespearean comedy await you at the Canadian Stage TD Dream in High Park. This outdoor performance of The Winter’s Tale comes complete with fairytales, shipwrecks, romantic misunderstandings and an original music score.

Sunday: There's more than the existing public sculptures to see during the Distillery District's artisan fair.

Sunday, September 4
Art spills onto the streets of The Distillery Historic District. Artisans at the Distillery features local artists showcasing their paintings, sculptures, pottery and more.

Get down at The Guvernment as a cast of all-star DJs rock the Labour of Love Festival. House and electro icon Benny Benassi will spin the records along with rising star Avicii and others.

Hispanic food, folklore and fancy footwork take over Mel Lastman Square in North Toronto for the Hispanic Fiesta. Colourful culture from 20 Spanish-speaking countries will be on display, with over 300 local, national and international performers taking part.

Monday: Pilot Michael Wiskus is one of the many daring flyers in the Canadian International Air Show

Monday, September 5
When you’ve had your fill of doughnut cheeseburgers and fried cola at The Ex, sit back, look up, and gaze at the Canadian International Air Show. Jet fighters, vintage aircraft, and the famed Snowbirds roar above Exhibition Place.

Samba at Yonge-Dundas Square and enjoy the best of Brazil. The Brazilian Day Canada Festival features a street fair, music, food, dancing and a performance by popular samba group Exaltasamba.

See the strength and solidarity of workers on display at the Labour Day Parade. The parade begins at Queen Street and University Avenue and marches to the Dufferin Gates at Exhibition Place.

Hot Dates: Bigger is Better

Meaghan Smith

It’s a hot winter for Symphony Nova Scotia, with a schedule jammed with concerts. January’s highlights include Orchestral Currents, innovative contemporary symphonic music, on January 6 and a collaboration with singer-songwriters Erin Costelo and Meaghan Smith on January 21. In February, the Symphony celebrates poet Elizabeth Bishop on February 10, before partnering with The Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra on February 20 to perform Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.

Calgary’s Club Scene

An informal chat with DJ A-Trak, a Montreal native and champion DJ

By Ryan Duncan

Photo: Angela Boatwright

At the age of 15, Montreal-born DJ and turntablist, A-Trak (born Alain Macklovitch), became the first Canadian and youngest person ever to win the DMC World DJ Championship in 1997. Since then, he has started two successful record labels, created a commercial for Nike, captured the world’s three major DJ competition titles, and been invited on tour with hip-hop icon Kanye West.

In the midst of his 10,000 lb Hamburger Tour, A-Trak took some time to chat with Where about his next EP, last minute line-up changes, and his very first turntable purchase.

TOUR CHALLENGES

A-Trak’s cross-North American tour, 10,000 lb Hamburger Tour, kicked off in Tampa Bay, Florida earlier this month. Coming up with the show’s unusual name was not something he fretted over, “ I called it the 10,000 lb Hamburger Tour because the tour needed a name, and I didn’t have one,” he says.

Finding a name wasn’t the only challenge A-Trak encountered. Before the tour began, his supporting act, M.I.A. protégé Rye Rye, announced that she was withdrawing from the tour because she was pregnant. Luckily, a replacement was quickly found: electronic and hip-hop rapper Theophilus London. He joins Treasure Fingers as A-Trak’s supporting acts during their stop at Calgary’s The HiFi Club.

GLOBAL EXPERIENCES

A-Trak has played in venues around the world from London to Vancouver to Bangkok. Back in 2004, A-Trak was hired by Kanye West to become his official tour DJ, and he’s had a close working relationship with the hip hop star since.

When asked if international crowds react differently to his music he says that, “it’s actually trickier in America, the whole world is becoming one scene. It doesn’t matter to me where I am playing, what club or country I am in, that doesn’t phase me, it’s all about the event.”

Being an award-winning DJ has provided A-Trak the chance to try his hand collaborating on various other artistic projects. In early 2009, NIKE approached him to create a mix-tape for their NIKE + Original Run Series. The result? A sleek and upbeat 45-minute composition.

Photo: Angela Boatwright

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

He recalls purchasing his first set of turntables with the money he had received for his bar mitzvah. “I was 13 when I was first starting out, and it took a lot of negotiation with my parents,” he says. “They didn’t understand why I wanted to buy a turntable–but fast forward a few months later, and they became very supportive.”

INSPIRATION

When asked about his earlier influences A Trak mentions the DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince album He’s the DJ, I’m The Rapper. In early June of this year he shared the stage with Jazzy Jeff for a show in New York City. “It was fun, I’ve known him for a while,” he says. “He is forever young and forever relevant. One thing that really inspires me is his amazing ability to stay current.”

WORKAHOLIC

A-Trak owns two of his own record labels, Fools Gold, which focuses on club music, and Audio Research, which concentrates on indie hip hop. Running labels is nothing new to him, he and his brother started Audio Research in the late ‘90s. Being a part of an artist-driven label is important to him.

“There’s a trust between artists,” he says. “It fits the new reality of the industry and the culture. There’s so much connection now between image, the brand, and the artist. There’s finally a real community–largely connected to the audience knowing full well who is behind the music.”

Never one to rest, he also recently collaborated with DJ Armand Van Helden calling themselves Duck Sauce to create a 4 track EP consisting of a classic disco-house sound. He has already released singles “aNYway” and “You’re Nasty” to clubs worldwide and is anticipating a September release for even more new music.

His latest mixed CD, Infinity +1, which fuses hip-hop, house and electro influences, garnered glowing reviews from newspapers and music websites around the world. It features MSTRKRFT, Kid Sister and Dam Funk. “At this point I am happy to work with my friends, creating new sounds,” he says.

Between headlining tours and cutting studio albums he has very little downtime. “There’s always lots of editing to do, new talent to scout, new songs to cut,” he says. “It really doesn’t leave me with much free time.”