The “For The Record” team started off Day 4 of Sled Island 2023 with a tour of the National Music Centre (NMC). First on the museum side was learning about all of the projects and services that the NMC offers, including:
- Curation of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, and l’Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo (ADISQ);
- Archiving of more than 2,000 artifacts and maintaining 200 fully functional historic instruments;
- Administering and developing educational programs, artist workshops, and live music performances.
The tour then headed to the studio side of the NMC, where the team was able to see the recording studios and mixing/control rooms! Each of the 3 studios can be patched to any of the 3 control rooms, and there is an estimated 5 kilometers of balanced cabling connecting everything. Not only can artists book studio time for recording purposes, but they also gain access to the functional historic instruments via their booking, including the largest synthesizer “TONTO”.
The tour ended with their third control room and crown jewel of the collection, The Rolling Stones Mobile recording truck. Though the truck can no longer drive, the recording equipment is still functioning. Not only is this patched to the 3 studios, it is also able to record live shows happening on the King Eddy stage!
Thanks so much to the NMC team for inviting us to tour the amazing facilities. The NMC offers so much to the community and to musicians!
After the tour, the team made their way to Calgary’s newest venue, Modern Love. They made it for the end of Dizzy Walka’s set. Despite being new to the scene, this young up-and-coming artist has a strong command of the stage. The live drummer’s percussive playing really added depth to the sharp 80s backing tracks. Check out Dizzy’s first single from the upcoming album, “Back to Me”.
Kaeyae Alo once again gave a beautiful performance, though more high energy than the Sloth Records performance – this really demonstrates Kaeyae’s range.
The team was then able to see one of their most anticipated performances, Sargeant X Comrade. The duo’s signature mix of Hip-Hop, Soul, R&B, Funk, House, Lo-Fi, and EDM was further bolstered by the addition of a full band. Their first song was able to draw a large crowd, even catching the ear of Sled goers on the Modern Love roof patio, who then made their way down to the main stage. Check out Sargeant X Comrade’s newest single “Love Someone”, along with their debut album “Magic Radio” which was a 2021 Polaris Music Prize Long List.
The legendary Calgary Hip-Hop duo, Dragon Fli Empire, took to the patio stage to end off the showcase. Their performance was so popular that Dai could only catch a couple songs from the stairwell as the patio was at capacity before the first song could drop. The group formed in 2002 and quickly became staples to the Campus/Community radio airways after hand mailing home burnt copies of their debut album “Conquest” to stations across Canada. The duo is a definite must see for fans of the Old School Hip-Hop style such as Pete Rock, Large Professor and Prince Paul. Teekay and DJ Cosm also have some solo releases out, and Teekay hosts “The Key of A” on CBC Radio.
It was a night of trying to catch “Must Sees” for the team, and they were lucky enough to make it to the Royal Canadian Legion #1 to catch Jed Arbour’s set. Since moving back to Calgary, Jed has begun to redefine their style, taking the original “sad” bedroom pop songs and transforming them into something a bit more heavy. Their instrumentation really leans into the styles of hardcore, post-punk, and rock, along with a surprise Jazzy/Bluesy clarinet solo in one of the tracks. Jed’s guitar playing also demonstrates that clean guitar sounds can be, at times, heavier than distorted guitar tones. They have only just recorded their newest release, so those wanting to check out their music will have to either look for them on show posters or wait till the Fall for the release. Thanks to Jed for taking the time to do an interview with us.
The team ended their night taking in WAIT//LESS. Originally from Calgary but now calling Vancouver home, this Punk group formed in 2022 and made their debut in January 2023. Despite being so new, they have been able to perform enough high energy shows to catch the attention of the Sled Island selection committee. Their Sled performance really delivered in terms of engaging high energy, with the lead vocalist joining the pit during a few of their songs! Check out their debut track “Another Year” and look forward to the forthcoming release that was hinted at throughout their performance.
The team was able to meet up with Marlaena Moore for an interview. If you missed seeing her performance at this Sled Island do not worry she has become a Sled Island regular and will be back again! Marlaena has a powerful but understated vocal range, mixing a variety of emotions from resignation to hopeful optimism to appeal to audience members who may be navigating something big, or kicking off a new love all at the same time. Make sure to check out her newest single “Pacer” on Bandcamp! Another event filled day at Sled Island with amazing performances and great experiences with old and new friends alike!
The annual Sled Island Music & Arts Festival is back June 20 to 25, 2023!
Experience five days of music, comedy, film, and art in diverse venues across Calgary, Alberta! Featuring genre-defying indie/alternative artist Bartees Strange as guest curator, garage rock chameleons Osees, Chicago-based indie rock three-piece DEHD, cosmic free jazz legends Sun Ra Arkestra, Latin folk innovator Helado Negro, Toronto’s viral hip-hop sensation Akintoye, gothic folk artist Emma Ruth Rundle, Philadelphia-based punk rock revolutionaries Mannequin Pussy, alternative R&B/hip-hop artist Amindi and many more!
Check out the full Sled Island 2023 lineup and get your passes and tickets at SledIsland.com.