Handsome Furs / The Ostrich / Beija Flor The Republik, Calgary AB April 22

Since reopening after a seven-year hiatus in late 2007, the Republik has become Calgary’s premiere club for quality indie rock shows. Located on the outskirts of the Red Mile, a section of 17th Avenue that hosts the busiest hockey viewings during the playoffs, the trip to the venue was marked with disappointed faces as the Calgary Flames gave up their playoff spot to the San Jose Sharks. Inside the venue, however, things were much brighter with resident DJ Glenn Alderson spinning some spunky soul and punk between acts. Unfortunately, local act Beija Flor took things down a notch with their uninspired sound. Clearly well practiced and ready for the sold-out crowd, their combination of goofy blues licks and Arcade Fire-lite indie rock left much to be desired. Other local act the Ostrich, however, nearly burned the place down with their smarmy, messy post-punk. Though their sound is hard to pin-down, these guys are armed with some face-melting garage riffs and a lead singer who eerily channels Jim Morrison into some sort of violent punk hero. Unsettling in a good way, they managed to clear the aural palette from Beija Flor’s boringness. At around midnight, Handsome Furs finally took the stage with their simple guitar and drum machine set up. After Dan Boeckner wished his condolences for the hockey loss, the band launched into some energetic renditions of the songs from their Plague Park LP. While the stripped down set-up of the duo makes for a sombre listen on record, they are more of a party act live, with Alexei Perry’s blaring synth and drum machine making her the hype-woman to Boeckner’s raspy croon. After a fantastic hour of rock’n’roll that also included a new song complete with smashed tambourine, the married couple gave Calgarians all they needed to go on without the playoffs.