The five best concerts this week: December 3-7
The Sword (seen here at 2011's Westword Music Showcase), due at the Bluebird on Tuesday night, is one of the five best concerts this week.
Good morning, y'all! And oh what a joyously good morning it is, eh? Is it just us, or is the sun shining a little brighter today? With the Broncos clinching the AFC West division yesterday here at home on an unseasonably agreeable day at Invesco, well, it just feels like one of those green-lights-all-the-way type of days, doesn't it? Not into sports? Could care less about the Broncos? Not to worry, still plenty of reason to smile, as things are equally as prosperous on the musical front. Another a great slate of music on tap this week. Check out the full concert calender to get a broader view, or keep reading to see which shows we've deemed the five best concerts of the week.
Kreayshawn (aka Natassia Zolot) got a video camera at age ten and started making and editing her own videos for several years before formally trying her hand at music. Although she's a high school dropout, Kreayshawn landed a scholarship to study film at the Berkeley Digital Film Institute. During that time, she started making videos for artists based in and around San Francisco, including Lil B. In 2010, Kreayshawn began releasing her music to a wider audience, and her second single, the ultra-catchy "Gucci Gucci" became a surprise hit that spring. For her 2012 debut full-length, Somethin 'Bout Kreay, she brought in collaborators such as Kid Cudi and Diplo. She's become a subject of some controversy for her lyrics and cultural appropriation, imagined and otherwise, but Kreayshawn's rhymes are, at worst, playfully raunchy.
Not much has changed about NOFX in the past twenty years -- including Fat Mike's unmistakable whiny voice. Still kicking out California-style pop punk with a hearty political bent (and a little more oomph than many of their counterparts), these guys have managed to tour and release records successfully while giving the finger to the media, becoming increasingly political and not changing their style. Catering to teenagers while in their forties may seem like an anomaly, but Fat Mike and company are still selling out shows every time they tour. It's possible that the whole reason the act has managed to stick around for so long is that it never fell into the trap of taking itself too seriously.
With 1998's A Go Go, guitarist John Scofield tapped into a whole new demographic by enlisting Medeski, Martin & Wood to play on the disc. While Scofield, who played with Miles Davis, was a respected jazzer and had delved into fusion, with A Go Go, he fully embraced the jazz-funk idiom. And chances are good that he didn't have folks doing the noodle dance at his shows until he teamed up with MMW. But it was a successful collaboration on both ends and they went on to record 2009's Out Louder and last year's In Case The World Changes Its Mind.
Macklemore's latest album, The Heist, is currently resting at number 37 on iTunes, but when it was first released, the record both topped that chart and held down the number-two spot on Billboard on the strength of its first-week sales. While chart rankings are hardly meaningful in this modern era, what makes this feat impressive is the fact that the XXL freshman and Westword Music Showcase alum issued the album entirely on his own. Besides being a highly capable MC, the Seattle-based rapper brings a certain genuineness and relatability to his music that's easy to embrace, whether he's playfully espousing the virtues of thrifting or poignantly taking a stand for same-sex marriage.
Formed nearly a decade ago in Austin, Texas, the Sword, with its sludgy guitar work and the fantastical themes of its lyrics, is often assigned the stoner rock designation, and understandably so. But while the band certainly bears the clear influence of bands like Black Sabbath, Sleep and Led Zeppelin, it has also developed into a solid hard rock band in its own right that merits consideration outside of some subgenre tag. On the outfit's latest record, Apocryphon, frontman J.D. Cronise displays a clever use of obscure language and a willingness to expose his personal experiences in the lyrics rather than relying on pure fiction.
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