Five best concerts this week, September 10-14
Gov't Mule kicks off its two night Denver run this Wednesday night at the Gothic Theatre.
Guitars, you say? Oh, we've got guitars, friend. Big ones, loud ones, twangy ones, whatever your flavor, and all being played by people pushing their amps into overdrive with passion. If you feel like indulging your inner rocker this week, let's just say you will have no problem finding places of worship. This week, you can look forward to two nights from Gov't Mule, a stop on the Melvins' 50 States + D.C. tour and more. Keep reading for a rundown of the five best concerts this week.
It's virtually impossible to utter the words "alt-country" without mentioning Old 97's. It's hard to say who was first, but Old 97's were clearly at the forefront of the movement that managed to revive the rock-infused country of the '60s while imparting it with a DIY aesthetic. Nearly two decades later, the band is still trudging along with significant cult status.
Led by Warren Haynes, who, when he's not playing with his own band, has split his time between two classic rock legends, the Dead and Allman Brothers, Gov't Mule is likewise based on a classic-rock sound, a hard, blues-drenched rock with a heavy bottom and epic scope centered around Warren Haynes's blazing guitar work. But Mule is hardly one-dimensional, incorporating slivers of reggae, jazzy improvisation and R&B, while Haynes's vocals edge increasingly soulward. The band kicks off a two night local run tonight at the Gothic and plays again tomorrow night at the Fillmore (both shows also feature Anders Osbourne).
Let's face it: Any band with John Dwyer in it will probably rule. His latest -- and one of his best -- projects, Thee Oh Sees, is a grimy four-piece that eats the lo-fi garage rock label and spits it out in the best, trashiest and reverb-heaviest way possible. Thee Oh Sees have a deep, loud and raucous discography to pull from, having evolved into a full-fledged band from material the singer and guitarist had been working on for over a decade.
Coady Willis and Jared Warren formed Big Business in the wake of break ups by the Whip and Dead Low Tide. Prior to that, the two had been in a number of noteworthy -- even legendary in some circles -- Pacific Northwest bands like Karp and the Murder City Devils, groups that essentially helped to define a noise rock and punk aesthetic that proved influential in the decade ahead. Although Big Business's heavier sound has often been described as "sludge," the band's music really has little in common with stoner rock beyond a penchant for crushing dynamics and rhythms that have some swing to it. In the last handful of years, Willis and Warren became part of the rhythm section of the Melvins and helped expand the noise palette of that group while maintaining a distinct musical identity of their own.
One of the most influential bands of the past thirty years, the Melvins are well known for their sludgy punk-rock sound, which formed the arc of records like Houdini and Stoner Witch in the '90s. With nineteen full-length albums, numerous collaborations -- including a record with Lustmord -- and a constant pushing of their own envelope, the Melvins have gone far beyond the music that provided a foundation for acts like Nirvana, Neurosis and Tool. For this tour, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover team up with former Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn to set a world record for the fastest tour of the fifty states plus D.C. The latest release with this lineup, Freak Puke, is far more moody and atmospheric than the band's usual fare, but it also isn't lacking its signature dark intensity.
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