The ten best concerts in Denver this week
Since 1983, the Melvins have been perfecting their brand of influential rock, inspired in part by punk and in part by the music Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover grew up hearing as kids in the '60s and '70s. With the Melvins, the two have taken that sound to different places with each record that their contemporaries never fully explored. It's evident that the musicians are not paying homage to anything or anybody in particular, but rather following their own muse, which has always taken them to strange and consistently fascinating places.
Peter Murphy is best known as the charismatic yet enigmatic lead singer of the post-punk/glam-rock band Bauhaus. Often lumped in with the goth subculture of the early '80s and beyond, Bauhaus was influenced as much by experimental literature and film as it was by the Velvet Underground and glam pioneers such as David Bowie and Roxy Music. Bauhaus's iconic single "Bela Lugosi's Dead" gained widespread fame when the band performed it live in the campy horror movie The Hunger. Murphy's deeply resonant voice and expressive, artfully melodramatic flair gave the already brooding and heavy music an otherworldly feel. While Bauhaus has been doing reunion tours since the late '90s, this show will feature Murphy performing Bauhaus classics sans bandmates David J, Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins.
Global Dance Festival is the premier summer event for EDM fans. Changing things up in the past few years, Triad Dragons continues to expand its offerings and its reach by enlisting the efforts of fellow promoters like sub.mission and Afterhours Anonymous. GDF is a full-on dance party, and this year's lineup will grab you whether you're out for laser-heavy electro-house, bass-in-your-face dubstep or genre-merging jamtronica.
After the 1988 demise of Green River, Mark Arm and Steve Turner formed Mudhoney with former Bundle of Hiss drummer Dan Peters and Matt Lukin, who had co-founded Melvins. Coincidentally, Mudhoney formed around the same time Sub Pop Records was started by a couple of friends and the band's gritty, expansive power pop, splintery punk sound informed the aesthetic for which the record label became known; that same year, the band recorded and released one of the landmarks of 1980s American underground rock, Superfuzz Bigmuff. Although Seattle scene explosion of the '90s somehow didn't make Mudhoney a gigantic commodity, these guys are looked upon as legends for a reason.
Winston Yellen, the Nashville-by-way-of-Colorado tunesmith who makes music under the Night Beds moniker, is immediately captivating, and his music bears a distinctive familiarity. With an absolutely gorgeous voice that's a little bit Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes, a little bit Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and a little bit Ryan Adams, Yellen sings with a conviction and expressiveness that make his gentle songs positively irresistible. Although fleshed out with tasteful flourishes, swelling strings here and pedal steel there, it's Yellen's capable crooning that make his songs resonate the deepest.
Jay Farrar has never been all that interested in experimentation. Hell, his desire to plow ahead, nose to the grindstone, was one of the contributing factors to the dissolution of Uncle Tupelo all those years ago. But his musical trajectory since is proof that he wouldn't have it any other way. You see, the flipside to Farrar's lack of experimental ambition is a driving and passionate certainty about what it is he does want to do. American Central Dust was an assured step in the same direction Farrar had been heading since the early '90s, leaning a bit more heavily on mournful mid-tempo country than on the firm, dusty boogie of honky-tonk bar rock, often evoking the dust-bowl vignettes of March 16-20, 1992, with Farrar's deeply sonorous voice lending world-weary credibility. On this year's Honky Tonk, Son Volt digs into the classic honky tonk sound of Bakersfield. (Son Volt is also slated to perform at the Aggie Theater on Thursday, July 18.)
Wolfgang Gartner is one of the most established names in house music. With tracks that build to a monumental drop, Gartner explodes with progressive house beats that are designed to make a big room go crazy. Gracing stages at Coachella, Sasquatch, EDC and Ultra, Gartner knows how to captivate any size crowd with the right tempos to help fans break a sweat and feel the music.
Remember Dusty Dinkleman in that movie Just Friends? On the surface, the dude was unbearably sweet, but beneath the facade lurked a completely depraved, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing ultra-perv. John Mayer is Dusty Dinkleman incarnate. If you didn't know any better and he never opened his mouth to prove otherwise, you'd think John Mayer was the kind of sensitive, heart-on-his-sleeve chap that women immediately want to protect. Turns out, he's actually a creep, and the only feelings the bluesman Lothario seems to have reside in his trousers. After a few overly revealing interviews in which the gifted guitarist copped to having a pronounced weakness for blonde napalm, Mayer wisely opted to let the music do the talking.
You awkwardly danced to "End of the Road" at your middle school dances. You sang along to "I'll Make Love to You" on the radio, even if you didn't fully understand the subject matter. "Motownphilly" will always be back again. After taking a break for several years, the Boyz behind these early '90s classics -- Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman (bass singer Michael McCary left the group in 2003 due to health issues) -- are back. Taking time off from their Las Vegas residency, various TV gigs and recording a new album, Boyz II Men performs at 1STBANK Center as part of the Package Tour, which also features boy bands 98° Degrees and headliners New Kids on the Block.
New York's Brooklyn Circle has been working together for more than a decade, and there's clearly some telepathy happening between the members -- saxophonist Stacy Dillard, bassist Diallo House and drummer Ismail Lawal -- as evidenced by the way they play off of each other. The three can play circles around their original jazz cuts, and they also have a great handle on grooves.
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