1. Sheesham & Lotus at Gallery House Concerts (Friday, Feb. 8)

Sheesham & Lotus are about as old-timey as you can get. The fiddle and banjo duo add homemade instruments to the mix to help fill out their American roots songs. You’re in for an old-fashioned good time in an intimate and welcoming environment. Read more about the Gallery House Concerts space in this week’s Our Town.

2. Thin Places at Nickle Theatre, MRU (Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9)

Corps Bara goes all metaphysical for this production. Four Prairie choreographers—Regina’s Connie Moker Wernikowski, Three Hills’ Lisa Calverley and Kyrsten Blair and Erin O’Loughlin from Calgary—combine music and dance in a show that explores the times in life where the veil between heaven and earth is thin. It’s a Celtic-themed show, as you can hear from the video that previews the show above.

3. SoundOff at Broken City (Friday, Feb. 8) and at The Gateway (Saturday, Feb. 9)

Music Calgary presents a two-day festival that stays true to the organization’s name:. It’s all local bands on display over two nights, Friday at Broken City and then Saturday at The Gateway. The Dudes’ front man Danny Vacon shows up on both nights with side projects: HighKicks on Friday and The Dojo Workhorse on Saturday. In The Dojo Workhorse, he’ll be joined by Brock Geiger and Clea Anais, who also make an appearance as part of the trio Raleigh (with Matt Doherty, who drums for Vacon in HighKicks—got that straight?). You can sample their beautiful cello, guitar and drum combination above. We’ve got a handy gallery of some of the bands featured here, or you can go to Music Calgary’s website for a full list.

4. Tales for Tuktu by Eszter Burghardt at Herringer Kiss Gallery (Opening Saturday, Feb. 9)

Denies by Eszter Burghardt.

Eszter Burghardt’s photos for her exhibition as part of the Exposure Photo Festival (see a full schedule of events and exhibitions on the fest’s website) are of models of caribou, but she was inspired by their very real plight. She travelled to Baffin Island to get the inspiration. There’s an opening reception on Saturday from 2-5 p.m., but you can check out her work all weekend.

5. How to Make a Monster at Telus Spark (Opening Saturday, Feb. 9)

John Cox’s creations were designed to scare audiences—and, in Komodo, Jill Hennessy. Now you can see them up close and learn how they are made at Telus Spark’s new exhibition opening this Saturday (without worrying about ending up at the bottom of the food chain). See some of the other creations on display in this gallery.

Playlist of the Weekend: Smalltown DJ’s Best of 2012

For the last five years, the Calgary mainstays have released a best-of-the-year music mix. This is 2012′s, and as usual, it hits all of the year’s highlights. —Jon Roe

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