Music Writing about Images

Funky Sledding at Dickens

Ben Disaster with Physical Copies at Dickens, June 22, 2019. © J. Ashley Nixon

Sled Island Music & Arts Festival was cancelled this year so I am looking back at previous events over the last four years. During that time, I photographed 66 bands, solo musicians and stand-up comedians at ten venues across the city. My book Sledding: Sled Island Music & Arts Festival 2016-19 was published on June 23, 2020. Here is an excerpt from the gig I covered on Saturday, June 22, 2019, at Dickens Pub, Calgary:

Dickens, June 22, 2019

Sled Island was holding down its best funky grooves on Saturday night at Dickens. Calgary band, Aruba kicked off the gig with some jangly pop melodies projected with no less than six voices and the three-sided sounds of a triangle.

BB’s Bella Bébé, on guitar, and Megan Magdalena, on bass, played an outrageously entertaining stage act with power chord tunes and erotic floor moves.

Canada’s top-notch SPDM (synth-pop dance music) band, Physical Copies trucked down from Edmonton to celebrate guitarist Ben Disaster’s birthday in CowTown. Frontman, Willie Dieminzzz (aka Will Zimmerman) put on a performance that would fit perfectly into Philippe Halsman’s Jumpology collection of photographs. He bedazzled the crowd with his orange jacket and a set that had you gyrating with glee if you like the likes of Talking Heads, Sparks, and Devo.

Last up was the intergalactic space rock crew from Man or Astroman? Victor Vector (aka Jonny Browning) was on bass duty as Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard (aka Robert DelBueno) was missing in action due to a curtailment at the USA-Canada border. At one point, Victor ventured out from under the vector light, leapt across the anti-surge bar and into the dark audience mass of the Dickens beyond. Fortunately for us all, the gravitational pull from his bandmates, Birdstuff (aka Brian Teasley) on drums, Avona Nova (aka Samantha Erin Paulsen) on space-steering guitar, and Star Crunch (aka Brian Causey) on space-pioneering guitar had enough Newtons to bring him back and complete their out of this world performance.

View or purchase Sledding

You can view (virtual flip page) and/or purchase a print copy or Instant PDF version (viewable on any device) of Sledding: Sled Island Music & Arts Festival 2016-19 via this link.  All of the acts mentioned here are featured in the book.

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