It's a little bit of a quiet weekend in Denver, but there are still plenty of great shows, including Nathaniel Rateliff pulling double-duty tonight at the Ogden and T/SMM at Glob.
The rest of our picks follow! Enjoy your weekend.Reid Speed Beta : December 19
Dubstep got a serious makeover when Reid Speed laid her hands on the genre. Blending elements of punk, garage and gangster rap into her dubstep mixes, Speed crafts sets that can jump all over the place tempo-wise, seamlessly moving from one to another via delicately placed transitional breakdowns. No artist is safe from her reach, which comprises a willingness to experiment with new sounds, skillful genre merging and exquisite remixing capabilities. If you fancy the lower end of things, Speed brings the bass and is not afraid to push the power of the 808. As she strives to propel EDM to the next level, this bombshell brings a New York flair and unmatched veracity to the speaker boxes.
For close to a decade, Nathaniel Rateliff has played a local holiday show each year with the various projects in which he's involved, from Born in the Flood and the Wheel to more recent soul-infused act the Night Sweats. The different bands showcase Rateliff's versatile songwriting, but they also prove what a commanding frontman he is. He's as capable of hushing a venue the size of the Gothic with a ballad as he is getting crowds moving with the more energetic Born in the Flood material. For his ninth annual holiday show, Rateliff will play a set of solo material (which could include selections from his forthcoming EP, Closer, slated for a January 27 release) and a set with the Night Sweats, which will put out a Richard Swift-produced album next year on Concord Records. Ark Life and comedian Ben Kronberg are also on the bill.Juan MacLean Bar Standard : December 19
You want to understand The Juan MacLean? Start with disco, follow it in the disparate directions it evolved -- house and the synth-pop side of new wave -- then re-synthesize the two into one cohesive whole. Got that? Okay, now bring that up to date in terms of sound design and production, and fuel it with the same indie attitude that's made DFA a leader and its sonic co-conspirator James Murphy (aka LCD Soundsystem) such a crossover sensation. Spanning the divide between house music's polished, seamless instrumental pulse and straight-up pop songs, The Juan MacLean is the kind of act that can make confirmed disco-phobes get out there and shake their asses with abandon.T/SMM Glob : December 19
Tom Smith founded influential experimental-music project To Live and Shave in L.A. in 1993. By then, he'd already spent time as a member of both Pussy Galore and Peach of Immortality. To Live and Shave's membership has fluctuated in the intervening years, including at times Andrew W.K. and Thurston Moore, among many others. Though lumped in with noise, TLASILA is more like performance art and has a sound sometimes characterized as "free glam." There's no easy way to describe the group, which doesn't always even resemble a band and blurs the lines between audience and performer. (For example, Smith has been known to recruit members of the audience to run cameras for future video releases.) Mark Morgan has been a member of TLASILA, but he is perhaps better known as the guitarist for the avant-garde noise-rock band Sightings. Together, as T/SMM, the two will collaborate on a multimedia performance that promises to be unlike anything you're likely to experience in Denver for a good long while.Trace Bundy's Acoustic Holiday Show Stargazers Theatre and Event Center : 7:30 p.m. December 20
It's one thing to listen to Trace Bundy on record, but it's a whole other experience to actually see the guitarist -- one of the finest acoustic fingerpickers around these parts -- do his guitar gymnastics firsthand, from two-handed finger tapping and percussive slapping to looping phrasing and using multiple capos. There's a reason that Boulder's "Acoustic Ninja" has racked up more than 33 million views on YouTube: People want to see Bundy in action for themselves.Jinx Jones Red Hot Rockabilly Holiday Show Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret : 8:00 p.m. December 21
A veteran of the Denver music scene of the '80s who's been living in California since 1989, rockabilly guitarist Jinx Jones has performed with Chuck Berry and Roy Buchanan and his chops can even be heard on En Vogue's hit "Free Your Mind." As a leader, Jones has four albums under his belt, including his most recent effort,Rip and Run
, which showcases his fiery picking skills.
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