MUSIC PREVIEW: Time to give

This weekend features a pair of fundraisers fitting the Christmas season – both for good but very different causes.

On Friday night, it’s “X-MUZ Part 1” at Brixx in the Starlite Room – a fundraiser supporting the Aviary group, which is nearing the very last stages to get their Norwood-area venue up and running. The Muz brothers, Mark and Philip, among others, have devoted a lot of time and money to their dream venue (meant to replace the Artery, which was closed by the city in 2015 for redevelopment).

This show features some of the city’s very best bands. Participants include well-known folk-pop quartet Short of Able (pictured), whose 2016 release was definitely among the city’s best, and Wares, whose eponymous full-length was just released in October, and is as diverse as it is amazing. Mollys Reach, which recently reformed after 15 years apart, is also on the bill, along with Medical Pilot, The Denim Daddies, The New Haunts, and Bloom Circle.

Doors at 7 pm, tickets $15, BUY

The next night in the same exact venue, Punk Rock For Charity takes place, this year to support F*CK CANCER. You can’t find many causes better than that, can you? Unsurprisingly it features some of Edmonton’s very best bands in punk – including a pair arguably at their absolute best right now, having released their strongest material in 2016. Hardcore five-piece E-Town Beatdown, who have been going strong since 2004, have a trio of albums out, but last year’s The Lost Decade is considered their strongest by many. Grizzly Trail, also stocked steep in the hardcore genre, but with some significant metal influences, haven’t released as much material, but last year’s EP titled Dead Standing Sessions was also amongst the best the genre has had to offer the last couple of years. Run With the Hunted, WOLFRIK, and Worst Days Down are also scheduled to perform. Suggested attire: “punk rock formal.” Show at 8 pm, tickets $10, BUY

All proceeds will go to F*ck Cancer – a non-profit organization that raises awareness and provides education to people whose lives are affected by cancer.

Friday 15

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald – If one was to sit back and ponder which Alberta singer-songwriter would put on an extraordinary pre-Christmas gig, and do a few old favourites besides, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald would probably fit that bill to a tee. Arden Theatre (St. Albert), 7:30 pm, $34. BUY

Bass Modulators – This Netherlands duo featuring Roland Evers and Rick Buijtenhek is part of the hardstyle craze that’s seeing incredible growth globally. The genre, a mix of techno and hardcore, typically resolves itself around a hard-sounding kick drum and detuned-distorted sounds. Evers and Buijtenhek will be part of January’s Hard Bass festival in the Netherlands, which features the very best of the genre. This night they’re at Union Hall, 9 pm, $25. BUY

Pigeon Breeders – This local experimental-ambient collective said goodbye to one of their core band members in 2016 as he moved to Halifax, but they’ve vowed to forge ahead, and this tape release party features a couple of performances recorded at the legendary Skymall – one from 2014 with the core members, and one from 2017 with guest member Nickelas Johnson (Field & Stream). Another experimental project, Soft Ions, that includes wife and husband Jenna Turner (The Olm, Look Away) and Parker Thiessen (Zebra Pulse, Private Investigators), as well as l.n. baba and Molan, will also perform. Sewing Machine Factory, 8 pm, $10.

Saturday 16

Hermit Crab – Speaking of experimental, this curious project includes composer Dave Wall, and the instrumental post-rock trio Gary Debussy, a name and band almost legendary in these parts. It features typical instrumentation (guitars, bass, drums), but combines elements of punk, jazz, noise, and electronic music. That surreal blender of genres, combined with the incredible talent of the musicians, is sure to make this project one to remember. LIMINA and the Will Scott Band are also on the bill. Sewing Machine Factory, 9 pm, $10.

Tuesday 19

XMUZ Part 2 – The Muz Bros get another boost in a fundraiser at the Almanac, including a smorgasbord of even more Edmonton greatness, including Tyler Butler, Jordan Norman & The Wisdom Teeth, Michael Dunn, Ariana Brophy, Von Bieker, Prairie States, and F&M. Leaning more towards folk, indie-folk, and singer-songwriter for sure, but just as much talent, and in a venue that doesn’t get used as much as it used to. 7 pm, $15 and up, BUY