The Beatdown

Taking a ride on the Melo side.

If Melo's smart, he'll stick to ballin' and leave the shot-callin' to those with the skills to pay the bills. Like the Nuggets before he came to town, DJ Melo has no game.

Upbeats and beatdowns: Last weekend, another band at the hi-dive unexpectedly ripped off my face. Wouldn't you know it: A week after I listed Matson Jones as this year's fave, bar none, along comes Mustangs and Madras to give the former a run for its money. Maybe what resonates with me is that both bands use unorthodox instrumentation in a rock setting -- Jones with the cellos, and Madras with a frontman who, between bouts of screaming/crooning, plays a sax almost as big as he is. I don't know. But I do know that I haven't seen two tighter acts this year -- two bands that are more on the ball or more exciting to watch. See for yourself when Mustangs and Madras (nice Outsiders reference, by the way) stops by the Larimer Lounge, with Slouch and Bailer in tow, this Thursday, December 2. Also, keep your fingers crossed for Summer Hartbauer, a Colorado Springs-based singer-songwriter with over a hundred originals under her belt; she'll audition to appear on Nashville Star (the USA Network's slightly less aggrandized answer to American Idol) at Bender's Tavern at 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 4.

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