MUSIC PREVIEW: Blitzen Trapper keeper

While tagged with a variety of labels, from alt-country to indie folk, Blitzen Trapper has been going strong since the turn of the millennium, and seem to get stronger with every album. The Portland quintet self-released its first three albums, including their opening salvo, an eponymous release in 2003.

After their most recent effort, 2015’s All Across This Land, Paste magazine referred to them as “a better, more confident band delivering their next phase”. And then of course they turn that praise on its ear, and this year crafted and produced Wild & Reckless, a musical written and performed by themselves, in their hometown. Expect some of that music to make its way onto this tour, and likely onto an album sometime this year, plus a considerable dose of their deep catalog.

The band performs at the Starlite Room on Sunday night. Show at 8 pm, advance tickets $19.50, BUY.

Thursday 15

Sudden Love – One of many album release parties this weekend, this show features an Edmonton indie/progressive trio that includes Gordon Tober on vocals and guitar, Lochlan Maloney on bass, and Brendan Lyons on drums. West To Alaska and Rugged & Reckless open. Bohemia, 7 pm, $10 at the door.

Darcys – This duo hails from Toronto, and amongst other well-heeled credentials have been nominated for Juno’s Alternative Album of the Year and a Polaris Prize. They continue to tour supporting their most recent full-length, 2016’s Centerfold, a dramatic about-face in their overall sound, from more of an alt-rock feel, to a brilliant and shiny pop feel somewhat reminiscent of the 1980s. Prairie Cat is also on the bill. Mercury Room, 8 pm tickets from $14. BUY

Friday 16

Beaumont Blues and Roots Festival – This festival has been one of the more successful new festivals in the region over the past few years, and have once again put together a pretty potent and diverse lineup. Friday performers include Matt Andersen, Boogie Patrol, The Velveteins, and Punch Drunk Cabaret. Note that admission is FREE for anyone who got stuck with a ticket to the cancelled Pemberton Music Festival. Tickets, and all other details at BRBF’s website.

Our Abandon – Started in 2013 by two high school students, this band has already come a long way. Now a five-piece, they’re releasing their debut EP Just Gigged during this show. Punk-funk act Strange Charm is also on the bill. Bohemia, 8 pm, $10.

LAPS – This experimental pop-punk act out of Montreal crafts stilting, yet cheery, songs featuring the voice of Heather Oglivie. They released the EP eyelet/islet in 2016, and have been getting notable adulation since. Expect to see their name a lot more in the coming years. Local favorites Gender Poutine and Fitness are also performing, as well as the doomgaze act Daydreaming. Sewing Machine Factory, 8 pm, $10.

Saturday 17

Beaumont Blues and Roots Festival – Things get going at 1:15 on Saturday for the BBRF, with notable performers on the day including Edmonton favorite Corb Lund, Lucas Chiasson, Raygun Cowboys, Samantha Schultz, and the Kirby Sewell Band. Tickets, and all other details at the festival’s website

Highlandia – This cozy and uber-friendly little festival in the heart of the Highlands area features bike racing, a delightful selection of food offerings, local vendors of all sorts, and of course, music. And the music curators did an exceptional job, pulling together some of the best musicians the city has to offer. Performers will include Rebecca Lappa, Soft March, Lucette, and Post Script, plus others. Henry Martell Park, 2 pm, free admission

Annihilator – Canadian maestros of thrash-heavy metal, in town with a new album and their “Rippin Through Canada 2017” tour. With Mason and Mutank. Starlite Room, 8 pm, $30. BUY

Dead Fibres – Yet another EP release, this time from an alt-punk act that’s been around since 2014 or so, and already has a few releases to their name, most notably before this 2016’s Disgusting People With Disgusting Motives, featuring such unforgettable song names like Acid Casualty, Chugga, and, of course, the twin title tracks, Disgusting People and Disgusting Motives. The new EP is called Stash Box, by the way – in case there’s a trivia contest somewhere along the way. Supermoon, Bummer Club and Arson Cult also perform. Sewing Machine Factory, 9 pm, $10.

Sunday 18

Beaumont Blues and Roots Festival – The festival’s closing day on Father’s Day features the legendary Fred Penner, along with Dirt Road Angels, The Dungarees and more. Tickets, and all other details at the festival’s website

Aviary Fundraiser – Mark and Philip have encountered some unexpected costs as they make their way back to the live music scene from the fracas around the closing of The Artery, but are ever so close now to opening up The Aviary (former bird shop on 11 Avenue) on a full-time basis. But, you know, they’re doing a little bit of a fundraiser to help with those costs. And of course, what with their connections, the list of bands involved is not only deep but extremely talented: Liam Coady, Jayden Paz, The Velveteins, Pyramid//Indigo, Jay Gilday Band, Lindsey Walker Band, Amy vanKeeken, The Gadjo Collective, WARES, nehiyawak, Motorbike James, and the Tiff Hall Family Band. So head on down, and bring your new tie! Mercury Room, runs 3:45 pm to late, choose your price. BUY

Monday 19

The Lion The Bear The Fox – One of the most recognizable names in the British Columbia music scene from the top to the bottom of their splendid province return to our city on this night. After joining forces in 2012, the trio released the EP We’d Be Good Men in 2013 to critical acclaim, then in 2016 released an eponymous full-length, which is, according to the band, “one part folk, one part rock, with a pinch of gospel and a dash of growl.” Exceptional musicians in their previous solo careers, together they prove that 1 + 1 + 1 is at least four. Perhaps five or six or maybe even seven. Almanac, 7 pm, $18. BUY