Taking its name from a Colorado pop culture behemoth like John Elway could be a blessing or a curse for a band. But Elway, making an appearance tonight at the Hi-Dive with Michael Dean Damron, St. Fall Apart and The Holy Mess, gets the joke, and fans do too. Besides, a name is just a name, and the local dudes are good at what they do -- which is nothing sports or restaurant related, but more of the pushy, loud and straightforward punk variety. (21 & up, 8 p.m. doors, $8).
Also this evening, James & The Devil brings its bluegrass-infused rock party to the Marquis Theater with Green River Vibe and Hamhock. The Denver-based band pushes the fiddle to the forefront, while still managing to work in Jim Campbell's hip hop-inspired vocal delivery. It is truly an experiment in eclectic styles, but the quintet pulls it all together with good on-stage energy. (All ages, 7:30 p.m. doors, $8-10).
Saturday night, Krayzie Bone of the Bone Thugs N' Harmony mainstay plays the Roxy Theatre with Whyte Out, Tru G, Scum, Troll and Insane Poetry. The warm-voiced Cleaveland rapper had been working as a solo artist since the late '90s while still being a part of his Bone Thugs crew for two decades, until his departure from the group earlier this year. (21 & up, 5 p.m. doors, $15).
If you're looking for something a little more dance-oriented tonight, check out Tyler Jacobson's end-of-summer throwdown, Casual, at the Meadowlark. Along with fellow Brit-pop enthusiasts Jake Ryan and Tim Shady, Jacobson and crew promise an evening of The Clash, Franz Ferdinand and maybe even a little Stones Roses on the decks, for those hankering for an early-2000's dance floor blowout like none other. (21 & up, 9 p.m. doors, $5).
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Sunday sees Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson together at Summit Music Hall with Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz. On paper, this touring collaboration between a man of hip hop and the freak folk artist seems a bit strange, but when their voices come together, it all makes sense: Rock and Dawson are both fans of intertwining lots of beautiful words. (All ages, 7 p.m. doors, $18-20).
Also Sunday, the Larimer Lounge is hosting a special version of its summer BBQ series, this time featuring Denver resident Sarah Slaton (who is also celebrating her birthday) along with Pnut, Input, Eldren, Petals of Spain, The Foot, Mercuria And The Gem Stars, Kate Moreland, Caleb Slade and Shane McCormick. This late afternoon show has a lot of promising local artists on tap, led by singer-songwriter Slaton, who's live EP, West Texas, just dropped last month. (21 & up, 2 p.m. doors, free).