Shakey Graves' remarkable three nights of sold-out shows at the Bluebird kicks off midway through this week. There are plenty more good ones to tide you over before a busy weekend, including Suicidal Tendencies and Blackalicious. Our picks follow.
With a controversial name, rumored gang ties and often violent fans, Suicidal Tendencies, which formed in the early '80s, went from being voted Worst Band/Biggest Assholes in punk fanzine Flipside one year to Best New Band the next. Though recording was spotty at best, Suicidal Tendencies did make seminal hardcore track "Institutionalized," which appears in the cult classic Repo Man, an episode of Miami Vice (of all places) and, more recently, Iron Man. The band eventually embraced thrash metal -- angering punk's purists -- with future Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo performing on a pair of stellar albums, Controlled by Hatred and Lights...Cameras...Revolution! Suicidal returns to Denver armed with material from last year's 13, its first in more than a decade.Blue October Summit Music Hall : 7:00 p.m. December 9
Blue October has been building a loyal fan base for the last two decades with its haunting lyrics and energetic alt-rock style. The band is touring in support of its latest effort, last year's Sway, which the follow-up to the 2011's critically acclaimed album Any Man in America.Flogging Molly Ogden Theatre : 8:00 p.m. December 9
If your cheesy, green-beer-swilling, American version of Saint Paddy's Day got a mohawk and a few tattoos, then did a fat line of blow along with its usual bucketfuls of Jameson, it would look a lot like Flogging Molly. This band, which appears Sunday, May 5, at the Ogden Theatre, with the Casualties and Avoid One Thing, turns traditional Irish music on its drunken ear, incorporating a foin wee bit o' fiddle and sweet Emerald Isle melodies, then hammering them into rude, cymbal-bashing, distortion-heavy punk songs. Actually, they're too nice to be considered hardcore and too nasty to be traditional Irish -- but, by God, they're a fun buncha sods.Blackalicious Cervantes' Other Side : December 10
There are easier ways to make a hip-hop living than the one chosen by Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab, the duo behind Blackalicious. These longtime partners, who've been together since the early '90s, have plenty of charisma, and if they employed obvious samples and slung the usual crime rhymes, they'd probably be mainstream stars by now.How the Grouch Stole Christmas Featuring The Grouch & Eligh Aggie Theatre : December 10, Fox Theatre : 8:30 p.m. December 11
The Grouch & Eligh incorporate elements of pop and alternative rock in their infectious brand of feel-good hip-hop. They never quite caught on nationally but have a huge fanbase locally and seem to be here all the time.Lagwagon Summit Music Hall : December 11
Lagwagon's Hoss totally kicks the ass of Green Day's Dookie. Come on! The album cover has the dude from Bonanza on it! You know this album is legit by that alone. Lagwagon never aimed for a large mainstream following, and as noble as that is, it's a bit of a shame, because the band has put out some seriously fantastic albums still, Hoss is the top dog, so seek it out and you won't be sorry.The Photo Atlas Hi-dive : December 11
Photo Atlas is one of the few now active in the local scene that has experienced the total breadth of playing music both in Denver and on the road, performing a seemingly endless succession of shows everywhere from basements and warehouses to bars and theaters.Shakey Graves Bluebird Theater : 9:00 p.m. December 11; 9:00 p.m. December 12
Shakey Graves (Alejandro Rose-Garcia) is a one man force to be reckoned with. Armed with a vintage guitar, attention grabbing musical stylistics and a drum made out of a suitcase, this one man band grabs audiences like no other; you can hear a pin drop at his shows.
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