The best concerts in Denver this weekend
The Montreal-based Adventure Club is a duo that started as a pop-punk act. Quickly outgrowing that hybrid, Christian Srigley and Leighton James started making electronic music, their first foray into it being a remix of Brand New's "Daisy." Adventure Club's break-out release, though, was a remix of "Everything to Me," by Lips, which was accompanied by a fantasy/superhero music video. Rather than just sculpting chill atmospherics between bass drops, Adventure Club employs methods used in older dubstep, creating textured melodies with transitions that tend to flow instead of tempos that merely stop, start and stutter.
After releasing his prodigious self-titled debut at age sixteen, Earl Sweatshirt was exiled to a Samoan disciplinary program by his mother during the most exciting years of Odd Future's meteoric rise, depriving the act's rabid fans of his music. As a result, Sweatshirt's Doris was easily one of the most hyped rap albums this year. Because of his incredibly deep voice, occasionally repetitive flow and moodiness, Earl can come across as monotonous, but he is an incredibly gifted poet who has the ability to infuse his words with dark-ness and mystique while baring his soul with a refreshing honesty. (Earl Sweatshirt is also due on Monday, January 13, at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom.)
Whatever size room he's playing, there's something about Gregory Alan Isakov's voice -- which feels like not much more than a whisper at times -- and his engaging songs that demand attention. He creates an unmistakable intimacy with both. Recorded over the past year and a half on analog gear and mixed to tape, The Weatherman captures the familiarity and rawness of his live shows. Jamie Mefford's lush, reverb-laden production makes some of the cuts -- like the gorgeous opener, "Amsterdam," "Second Chances" and the buoyant "Living Proof" -- feel more expansive than those on Isakov's previous two full-lengths, while "She Always Takes It Back" proves that he can also craft a lovely ballad. Bob Dylan once sang, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows," and you don't need to be a singer-songwriter to realize that Isakov has created something truly stunning here.
What can you say about Ras Kass? You either love him or hate him -- or you have no idea who he is. His debut, Soul on Ice, is a certified classic in the West Coast hip-hop underground, anchored by the eight-minute revisionist epic "Nature of the Threat" and "Sonset," an indictment of New York hip-hop bias during the '90s. Accusations of racism and label disputes grounded Ras's career almost before it began, but when he's on, he is as intelligent and bold a rapper as you'll find, as evidenced by mind-bending tracks such as "Interview With a Vampire."
Since the Braun brothers moved to Austin fifteen years ago, their band Reckless Kelly has always been considered a part of the Texas music phenomenon, but they've also always managed to stand slightly apart from that whole thing. To its credit, the band has never used the beer-taco-Mexico-tequila-Texas-Texas-Texas-more-beer lyrical template that most of the so-called Texas music bands wore like a frat pin. From the beginning, Reckless had real songs and, when they didn't have anything new, they'd rev up amazing covers of Led Zeppelin or Elvis Costello to fill the void.
Too many country-music purists of the past couple decades brag about keeping the true sound of country alive. Oklahoma native Jason Boland, though, just does it. Bearing a catalogue of gritty, twangy songs that sound as natural as falling off a horse, Boland and his Stragglers have spent the last ten-plus years crisscrossing the nation and building a grassroots following, one that knows and feels authentic Americana when it hears it.
Founded in 2008 by vocalist Vino, Final Blow has experienced some line-up changes over the last few years, but the one thing that hasn't changes is its love for late-'80s New York hardcore. The aggression and menace of bands like Sick Of It All, Madball and Agnostic Front can be heard in the underlying spirit of Final Blow's music. And it's not just a defiant and macho persona -- after all, Cassie Begay formerly of Throat Culture once played in this group -- Final Blow's ethos is one of brotherhood and a disdain for the bastards that grind everyone down. For this show, Final Blow is releasing its latest album.
The GEDS started in the mid-90s with former members of Twice Wilted, '57 Lesbian and Spell in bassist/vocalist Chanin Floyd and guitarist Tim Beckman. Fusing the fuzzed out punk of late 80s Seattle bands like Mudhoney and Tad with garage rock songwriting sensibilities, The GEDS were a fixture of undeground rock in Denver for close to a decade before essentially going on hiatus for a handful of years. Although having only put out sporadic recordings over the years on various compilations including the first Radio 1190 Local Shakedown release and Mike Jourgensen's Noise Tent samplers, The GEDS wrote powerful memorable songs that resonated with audiences. Apparently the group is set to release an actual album in the near future.
The new 1Up Colfax is fast becoming a popular jam band venue, and Technicolor Tone Factory, recent openers for moe., are set to hold things down with fellow local favs Genetics. Bringing a fusion of funk and rock to the table, Technicolor Tone Factory gets you dancing while keeping you entertained by the antics of the charismatic musicians on stage.
When hardcore spawned an even more militant straight edge contingent of the movement with bands like SS Decontrol, 7 Seconds, and "youth crew" acts like Youth Brigade and Slapshot, it wasn't too difficult to predict that the sub-genre would burn itself out quickly. But in the last decade, that sort of sound, that purist hardcore aesthetic and its attendant ideologies, came back in pockets throughout America and beyond. Hounds of Hate from Brooklyn fortunately sounds far more rhythmically dynamic than its forebears. The band's 2012 cassette sounds like the guys absorbed bits of grindcore and power violence into its sonic DNA.
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