The best DIY shows in Denver in August
Blurring the line between punk rock and noise, No Age could be mistaken for a particularly frantic and raw garage rock band. But this Los Angeles duo was one of the handful of bands that played at the Smell in L.A. in the mid-2000s and helped champion the DIY world and the rich tapestry of diverse music coming out of that scene. The group's debut album, 2007's Weirdo Rippers, is a classic of what has clumsily been termed "lo-fi punk" putting No Age in league with bands like Times New Viking, Pink Reason and Psychedelic Horseshit. But No Age stands on its own as a powerful and riveting live band that embodies the anything goes spirit of punk rock more than most acts out there today.
Luke Leavitt, the force behind Cop Circles, apparently sees no reason to draw a line between his interest in Afrobeat rhythms and sounds, Arthur Russell's post-disco electronic pop experiments and the confrontational no-wave jazz of James Chance. On stage, Leavitt may start out calm and collected, but at some point in the set the veins bulge in his neck, and next thing you know, he seems like he's just shy of swinging chains and crawling across tables and broken glass á la Alan Vega in his Suicide years. When he performs, Leavitt projects a similar quality of unfettered emotional intensity that is both inspirational and borderline terrifying. One of the concepts behind Cop Circles is a message of sustainability, not just of physical resources but also cultural and artistic. In that spirit, Leavitt has recycled ideas, musical and otherwise, and repurposed them for this unique and compelling project. (Pizza Time, Trvest, Hyper Real Fake Baby are also slated to perform on this bill.)
Cairo's avant-garde composer CJ Boyd may be one of a handful of experimental artists that is a true international nomad who tours seemingly endlessly throughout the U.S. and Europe. Known mostly for his vibrant compositions with bass, upright and electric, and the occasional collaborators, Boyd manages to perfectly balance an instinct for informal jazz structure, organic sounds and coherent songwriting in a way that is both accessible and challenging. Other acts appearing: Iuengliss is the expansive pop electronica project of Tom Metz. In his songs, Metz is able to experiment wildly with his soundscaping while also making music that feels like it's lifting the weight of the world off your shoulders. Deep Satisfaction is the latest project of Glob's John Golter, former Hot White drummer Darren Kulback and Echo Beds' peripatetic madman Tom Nelsen. Expect the unexpected with these guys.
A decade ago, Seattle's Baxter Roy Long would have been lumped in with freak folk or something at the breezy, acoustic end of psychedelia. But his music sounds like something between that, collage pop and organic soundscaping. Which is fitting in sharing the bill here with Hunter Dragon, whose body of work is so diverse it would be impossible to say exactly what it is that Hunter Adams is doing in his music. From electronic, darkly ambient drones right out of a soundtrack for a dystopian '70s science fiction movie to his ambitiously composed indie pop to his more recent forays into combining experimental electronic music with something more earthbound. This will be the kind of show where you may see some of the weirdest music made into something accessible. (Fantard Magnus and Calliope of the Future also share this bill.)
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