Sled Island is all about stamina. When you go to a multi-day/multi-venue music festival, by the third day you have to dig deep inside yourself to channel your party stamina if you’re gonna make it and I dug pretty deep on Saturday afternoon to make it out to the main stage site at Olympic Plaza on this beautiful sunny afternoon.
At Olympic Plaza was a highly revered nostalgia act of sorts, Spiritualized. The English space rock band had a lot of dad vibes going on. But even with frontman Jason Pierce sitting down for the entire performance, the band took festivalgoers from the beer gardens to outer space and back again. Space is the place, indeed.
One of the biggest and most anticipated acts of Sled Island was easily St. Vincent and this became more than apparent as we walked up to Flames Central. With a lineup going down the entire block I was sure we weren’t going to get in. To call Annie Clark (AKA St. Vincent) a musician wouldn’t even be accurate. She is a higher being that takes performance art and music to dizzying new heights.
St. Vincent was an absolute festival highlight and the perfect way to end our weekend. I went home that night feeling satisfied knowing that Sled Island survived the flood of 2013 and remains one of the best music festivals in North America. If you haven’t been before, I would strongly urge you to add this to your list of things to do next summer — rain or shine. See you then!
Photo and words: Glenn Alderson
TGIF, am I right? We started Day Two of Sled Island on the top of the world. Or perhaps I should say at the top of the city. The artist lounge for Sled Island is located at the top of the Calgary Tower, which puts you at 525 feet above the city so you can see the spanning prairie skyline from a 360 degree view while eating free candy and rubbing shoulders with the indie rock elite that the festival is so infamously stacked with.
Unfortunately Neko Case ended up cancelling her performance at the festival so we skipped Olympic Plaza and went over to a rustic Jazz venue in the basement of one of Calgary’s oldest sandstone buildings, the Grain Exchange, to see Halifax folk-rock troubadour John McKiel. He was even joined on stage by Calgary musician Chris Dadge on drums as he played a beautiful and heartfelt set of zingers and ballads alike that make McKiel so much more than a boring sensitive singer-songwriter, he’s a true poet with heart, rhythm and soul.
The stage was draped in red velvet, there was a huge bingo calling board on the side of it and it was at this venue where I was met with perhaps my most favorite festival highlight, Shannon & The Clams. This Oakland-based rock ‘n’ roll doo-wop trio is very distinguishable, not only by their unique sound but also by the strong stage presence. I felt like I was walking in to a scene from Twin Peaks as the maximum capacity gymnasium pulsated and swayed with positive youthful vibes that sucked you in to the middle of the crowd.
I don’t care what you think about electronic music but this guy can command an audience better than any other one-man electronic act I’ve ever seen (Yes, even better than that Girl Talk nerd). Dan Deacon had the entire audience engaged in a sweaty dance party from the second he took the stage.
Sled Island’s Friday night festivities ended on a very high note in so many different ways but I was exhausted so we headed home for some much deserved rest.
Photo and words: Glenn Alderson
On the road with my band, NEEDS, it almost seemed as though the cloudy prairie skies parted as we drove in to Calgary late Thursday afternoon. Fears of any potential flooding this year were on everyone’s mind but there wasn’t even so much as a drizzle as we made our way to the artist check-in at the fancy schmancy Paliser Hotel in the middle of the downtown core.
Now fully armed with our Sled Island wristbands we headed over to Leo Boutique, Calgary’s number one Nudie Jeans destination centre, to say hello to the friendly staff and pick up some much-needed festival attire. With everyone in my band suited in brand new Nudie Jeans we were ready to walk over to Central United Church to take in the stunning audio & visual assault of Oneohtrix Point Never.
The sad thing about a festival as stacked with talent as Sled Island is that you just can’t take everything in and the harsh reality we had to swallow on this particular evening was that we weren’t going to get to see Killer Mike because he was on the same time NEEDS was playing the BeatRoute Magazine Cotton Candy Party at the Bamboo.
In-between shows, I snuck outside to have a quick chat with Screaming Females frontwoman, Marissa Paternoster. “As I was leaving the house earlier today to catch our plane my dad asked me if this festival was called Slut Island,” she laughed. “I almost think it would be better if it was.” Stay tuned for more from our conversation!
Screaming Females are a band that should be added to everyone’s must-see list. Marissa Paternoster is a little firecracker on stage and I guarantee you that you have never seen anyone shred like her before. Well respected amongst her musical peers like J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr and even Jack White and infamous Chicago producer Steve Albini, this girl may only be 27 years old but she has the chops of a very established player plus a backing band that really lets her shine.
Sled Island started with a bang and definitely left me wanting more. With a full weekend ahead of us we packed up our gear and went back to our hotel so we could get maximum sledding in.
Photo and words: Glenn Alderson.
Music has always been a great inspiration to what we do at Nudie Jeans, and green initiatives are something that we applaud. This week we’ll be in Calgary, Canada, to attend one of the greener festivals around, Sled Island. Not only are we on site to enjoy the festival to the fullest, check out the great artist and enjoy the vibe. We also sponsored the Sled Island Kick-Off party. A great event held at the Commonwealth Bar & Stage, with great performances by The Slabs, Slow Down Molasses and Ayoo Angie, among others.
Our Calgary correspondent, Glenn Alderson, will be our man about the festival and he’ll make sure to cover the most interesting artists and happenings. Tell us a bit about yourself Glenn:
Hey everyone! My name is Glenn Alderson, long time supporter of Nudie Jeans and I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta – home of the illustrious Sled Island Music Festival. Five years ago I moved to Vancouver, working as the editor for a monthly music, arts & entertainment publication called BeatRoute Magazine. I have been to Sled Island every year since its inception and the festival has proven itself to be one of the most exciting multi-day/multi-venue music festivals in North America. This year is celebrating more than 200 bands over the course of five days.
Last year Mother Nature wasn’t so kind to Sled Island and, because of massive rainfalls in the prairie region, flooding of the city’s downtown core led to the unfortunate and abrupt ending to the festival before it could even barely get underway. However, this year the festival’s slogan is “Nobody Rains On Our Parade” and it is with that heroic and positive energy that I’m putting in my ear plugs and going back to Calgary for another year of loud music, late nights and undoubtedly lots of fun. Stay tuned for more highlights and updates from me on the ground at Sled Island. Calgary, Alberta... Let’s do it!
Words: Glenn Alderson. Photo: Crystal Sujata, Chris Tait and Lúcia Julião
When not running our Repair Shop at Jakobsbergsgatan in Stockholm, Sandra is discovering her new hometown.
“I’m loving the new Repair Shop; it’s impossible not to. I mean, beautiful green walls, shelf after shelf with great denim, selvage floor and great customers. This summer I’ll meet new people my new hometown and try to find the best r&b and hip hop beats in Stockholm. As long as I get to dance until 4 in the am, I am happy. This fall my boyfriend is finally moving up here. We’re going to sell the car and buy DJ equipment. I’ll practice my DJing skills and then give David and Mathias a run for their money. I’ll drop this Destiny’s Child classic on them.”
If you are ever in Stockholm, and in need of denim or pointers on DJing, swing by the Repair Shop and ask Sandra.
Our team at Nudie Jeans Paddington strongly believe that being organic and sustainable shouldn’t be limited to just our product. When not selling denim or repairing it, they are growing a little veggie patch out the back of the store; there's salad-y greens, beautiful flowers and fresh herbs. A great way to assist their culinary skills during staff BBQs and of course a great gift for any customer who would like to take home some freshly grown basil with their brand new denim.
Our good friend Kristoffer brought us his beloved Sharp Bengt Dry Brown Selvage the other day. These jeans have seen their fair share of adventure and have been customized to cope with the lifestyle.
“I’ve had them for about a year or so, and I’ve done pretty much everything in them. I’ve climbed trees, been to festivals, sailed from Norway to Denmark, built gigantic teddy bears. They have never been washed but I’ve done some swimming in them, and once I took a shower with them. I had to sew in a safety pocket since I sometimes spend time hanging upside-down. All repairs are done by me. The one in the crotch region is great; everyone thinks that it’s my underwear showing.”
Like the look? Get adventurous, and dry trying!
Yeah, we just won an award! On Monday the Swedish Trade Federation and Dagens Handel (Swedish retail magazine) held their annual Retail Awards and our Repair Shop concept was awarded Sustainable Store of the Year. Here’s the jury’s statement:
“With new business logic, Nudie Jeans combines responsibility with rock n’ roll. Sustainability is the foundation of the business model and its found throughout the whole chain; the choice of material and the design of the Repair Shops, in which customers get help to prolong the life of their jeans, all the way to recycling. A cool brand that, despite their size, inspire and makes a difference.”
We are happy that our Repair Shops’ hard work for more responsible and sustainable consumption patterns is rewarded, and winning this award will make us work harder to become better at what we do. Find your nearest Repair Shop HERE!
A while back we got word from the team in Barcelona Repair Shop about an interesting project they had going. The project was called “It all Starts With a Pair of Drys” and it focuses on original broken in Nudie Jeans, like our User Stories, but live and direct.
Together with multidisciplinary designer Susana Piquer, every User Story was made even more interesting using cardboard to create intricate and ephemeral forms and shapes. Every piece of cardboard was cut and assembled by hand, one by one, making all of them even more unique, just like the stories of the denim on display.
All photos courtesy of photographer Maude-Sophie.
Since 1983 he’s been a member of legendary Swedish rockers Sator, and his still deep in the rock game. Kent Norberg and his bandmates are still touring, only not as much as back in the day. A while back he visited us at the office and brought a pair of Slim Jims that’s done over 100 gigs, but still look fresh.
– There might not be a lot of wear and tear, but they are way more shiny and leather-like, which I love. There are some honeycombs developing and the pockets are starting to fray. But I’ll keep wearing these for another 100 gigs and hopefully you can do a feature on them again. My bandmates tell me I transpire like a fish. I’ve done many gigs with my leather jacket on, and I hardly ever break a sweat. These jeans have been on the road for sure. From Svalbard in the north of Norway, down to Italy, by way of Holland, Belgium, Germany and all the other Nordic countries.
Black coated denim is back in Skinny Lin, Tube Tom and Thin Finn.