The ten best concerts this weekend: Nov. 2-4
Leonard Cohen at 1STBANK is one of the ten best concerts this weekend.
Welcome to the weekend! We made it. And as we already noted in Dance Card, there's an extra hour for you to enjoy. Depending upon how hard you go, this will either give you more time to imbibe or an extra hour to sleep off the effects of the night before. Whatever the case, there's plenty of quality music to soundtrack your nightlife excursion. As always, if you favor the DIY approach, we've got all of the shows happening this weekend listed in our massive concert calendar. If you'd prefer a more curated experience, we've handpicked the weekend's ten best concerts. Continue on to see what's on tap.
After releasing two albums on the Universal Republic, the breakout 2007 debut, Fight With Tools, and its 2010 follow-up, Survival Story, Flobots released a brand new fourteen-track record on Shanachie titled The Circle in the Square. After embarking on an extensive cross-country tour in support of the record -- which Jonny 5 graciously broke down for us track-by-track on the week of its release this past August -- the band returns to the Mile High City for a hometown show tomorrow night at the Gothic Theatre with Astronautalis.
Valerie "Lights" Poxleitner is a diminutive young Canadian whose girly voice was meant to be layered over lush electronic backgrounds and danced to forever. Her synthed-out, Erasure-esque songs are also perfect for Gossip Girl, Real World, or any number of coming-of-age television shows. She's mysterious and foreign enough to one day achieve the stature of, say, a Robyn, and already wipes the floor with the likes of Britney Spears or whatever Kardashian sister is attempting to break into the music biz at any given moment. Dismiss Lights as a lightweight if you insist, but this 2009 Juno Award winner's compact songs are pleasant at worst, infectious at best.
After years of building a solid, devoted following with her deeply affecting and personal songs, performing and touring frequently on her own and with a band, Angie Stevens was ready to hang up her guitar. But then she reconnected with Haley Rydell, a talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Fargo, whom she'd met through mutual friends in North Dakota. The pair began collaborating, reigniting Stevens's creativity, and the result is I'm With Her, an act that introduces Rydell to a broader audience and finds Stevens at her absolute best. Tonight the duo celebrates their exceptional debut album, Songs We Said Goodbye To. Rarely has sadness sounded so good. Gorgeous, like Patty Griffin sitting in with the Weepies.
In response to the overwhelming success of Denver's Titwrench Festival -- the award-winning female-centric, three-day rock and noise fest -- local riot-grrrl icon Sara Century has been tapped to bring a version of the event to Fort Collins. Dubbed Ladybug 2012, the freshly minted festival is slated to take place this weekend, starting this evening at GNU Gallery in Fort Collins. While it may seem amazingly anachronistic that in 2012 there are still meatheads out there who feel that women don't have the chops to rock a stage next to their male counterparts, the obvious disparity in female to male musicians speaks not only to the need of events like Ladybug, but of the quiet misogyny that can often dissuade young girls from ever picking up an ax.
"In Bed All Day." "Sad for a Day." "Sad Sad Song." Titles like these might lead you to believe that Omaha's Tilly and the Wall are purveyors of some serious suicidal gloom -- or at least a little teenage cutting. Of course, it's kind of hard to beat out a tempo of depression on tambourines, bells, shakers and tap shoes. And yet, that's exactly what constitutes Tilly's rhythm section. In addition to sweetly caressed guitars and tickled keys, the youthful coed quintet employs one Jamie W. to keep time by tap dancing. Not that the whole band isn't on its toes; the band's songs are as hyper and exuberant as a rerun of Romper Room.
After a quarter century of being Gene Ween, Aaron Freeman opted to branch out on his own, effectively sending the iconic band he co-fronted with Michael Melchiondo, Jr. (aka Dean Ween) out to pasture this past spring. While this news no doubt sent many a Ween fanatic out wandering into traffic aimlessly in dispair, all is not lost. There's a silver lining to this Marvelous Cloud. Freeman returns to Colorado this weekend for a pair of dates, tonight at the Fox Theatre and another show tomorrow night at the Bluebird Theater.
The name Father John Misty suggests some justly obscure '70s songwriter whose albums you might find buried at the very back of your parents' record collection. Fitting, then, that the actual artist that goes by that name records willfully obscure singer-songwriter material that sounds, for all intents and purposes, like a mid '70s vintage record that's just been unearthed. Before this year's Fear Fun, he released a handful of albums under the name J. Tillman and spent some time drumming for Fleet Foxes, a connection that is heavily played up in much of his press. His Father John work is not miles removed from the Foxes, if a little more loose limbed and freewheeling. He trades their stilted airlessness for a certain degree of pretension that can be suffocating in its own right, but if you can get past that, there are a handful of songs of Fear Fun that are actually, yes, fun.
If Matt and Kim had never made it as a musical duo, they probably could've found success as therapists. The indie-punk band is sickeningly sweet and happy, putting just as much emphasis on their perma-smiles and interaction with fans as on the music they play. Matt and Kim dance on their instruments, throw balloons into the audience, and carry out long conversations on stage. It's obvious that Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino have formed a tight bond since they met years ago as students at New York's Pratt Institute. And it's probably not difficult to be constantly oh-so-happy when you're working with the love of your life (the two are in a romantic relationship).
Check out the influences of just about any bass player going these days, and you'll find a sworn allegiance to Primus's Les Claypool, who for seven albums and countless side projects and guest appearances has been warping the fat-stringed minds of rock bass men everywhere. Otherwise jokey in his lyrics, stage presence and overall imagery, Claypool puts on a veritable bass-guitar clinic each time he picks up his instrument in front of an audience. You'd be hard-pressed to find a mainstream band with more complicated time signatures and snakier rhythms, and Primus's stamp is felt on newer bands from Minus the Bear to System of a Down.
Since the 1967 release of Songs of Leonard Cohen, this widely admired songwriter has become synonymous with the concept of cool like few others since Miles Davis. More a prolific poet than jazz/folk songwriter, Cohen's inimitable voice really does sound like it's coming from someone who understands the rough times you're experiencing. Whether that's dealing with the complexities of love and relationships or the moments of deep isolation and psychic anguish experienced by any thoughtful, sensitive, creative person, Cohen always seems to have just the right turn of phrase to articulate what you often can't yourself. And yet he isn't without a sense of humor in even his bleakest material, including "Everybody Knows," which contains a few chuckle-worthy observations. In the end, Cohen's music is compassionate, uplifting and timeless.
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