Welcome to the weekend! You ready to toss a few cold ones back and get a little loose? Thought so. Us, too. As always, there is ton of good music and a wide variety at that to dazzle and delight you this weekend in our fine city. If you're a completist who prefers to craft your own itinerary, we've got all of the shows listed in our comprehensive concert calendar. If, however, you prefer a more curated approach, we've put together a list of the ten best concerts this weekend. Keep reading to see what's in store.
See also: - Oliver Ackermann of A Place to Bury Strangers on creating Total Sonic Annihilation - The River Drifters have reached the end of their run - Input on why he finally decided to write about his Columbine experience - The Yawpers' deep thoughts come through on Capon Crusade - Calder's Revolvers on how they're a very competitive ping pong club that plays music - The five best jazz shows in Denver this month
10. BRAD GOODE QUARTET with RON BLAKE @ DAZZLE | FRI, 11/9 Every so often Dazzle pairs great local talent with stellar nationally known players. This time around, outstanding local trumpeter Brad Goode and his group team up with New York-based tenor and soprano sax player Ron Blake, who has a few records under his own name, in addition to having appeared on more than fifty albums with the likes of Roy Hargrove and Art Farmer. On 2008's Shayari, Blake, who is joined by Jack DeJohnette, Christian McBride and Regina Carter, shows the wide-toned saxophonist's range, including lyrical phrasing on ballads to weaving some intricate lines on up-tempo cuts.
9. MILO GREENE @ BLUEBIRD THEATER | FRI, 11/9 The many-headed Milo Greene has found its national footing this year on the strength of its exceptional self-titled debut full-length. The Los Angeles quintet employs masterful harmony and thoughtful composition to the end of one of the year's best folk efforts. Everyone but drummer Curtis Marrero sings and switches instruments, so what might have been a fairly staid live show should instead be dynamic.
8. YAWPERS (CD RELEASE) @ SHINE | FRI, 11/9/12 "Half of our songs are about getting fucked up, and the other half are about existential crises that make you question the nature of reality," declares Yawpers frontman Nate Cook. "So those two themes run pretty prevalently through the music, or at least I would hope so." Cook, a self-described literature fanatic, says he enjoys lifting from the literary greats and kind of throwing some "highbrow uber-literate shit in the band's simple-ass country rock-and-roll songs." It's a contradiction Cook says he finds pretty amusing. And indeed, scattered throughout Capon Crusade, the band's brand-new full-length, are references to existentialist writers Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. While Cook says he says he doesn't necessarily gravitate toward them in his general philosophy, they do inspire the songs... (continue reading Yawpers profile)
7. RIVER DRIFTERS (CD RELEASE/FAREWELL) @ ORIENTAL | SAT, 11/10/12 The River has run dry. After playing together for nearly a decade, first as Pillage My Village and later as the Legendary River Drifters, Curtis Wallach, Suzanne Magnuson and their current bandmates in the River Drifters have simply run their course. And as timing would have it, they're just about to release a great new album. Nothing like saving the best for last. After six years together, they've decided to end on a high note with the release of Dirtier Harryer, which will also serve as the band's final show. (continue reading the River Drifters profile)
6. D.R.I. @ MOE'S | SAT, 11/10/12 Dirty Rotten Imbeciles started out as a speedy hardcore band in Houston in the early '80s. The band was renowned for its short songs, its leftist politics and the frenzied passion of its playing. D.R.I.'s appropriately-titled, landmark 1987 album, Crossover, lived up to its name by introducing a sound that fully integrated breakneck hardcore rhythms with a thrashy guitar attack, which the group had been developing all along. Marketed in the late '80s to both metalheads and hardcore fans, D.R.I. seemed to find an easy audience in anyone who loved aggressive music with anti-authoritarian lyrics. During the course of four more albums, up to 1995's Full Speed Ahead, D.R.I. mastered a sound that can be heard in virtually all metal and punk hybrid groups today. The outfit remains a potent live act today.
5. SKELETON WITCH @ MARQUIS THEATER | FRI, 11/9/12 Even though Metallica dragged thrashy speed metal into the mainstream with its "Black" album, most of the better, more imaginative practitioners of the style remained relatively obscure. While acts such as Testament, Voivod and Metal Church never became household names, their mixture of aggression, precision and obsession with the dark side of human nature cast an unmistakable pall on black metal and the bastard child of punk rock and thrash known as "crust." There is a bit of all that to be found in Skeleton Witch's music. The Athens, Ohio act plays it straight up: no ballads, no inept, blues-based rock -- just frenzied intensity coupled with odd, unexpected melodies swimming amid sharp changes in time signatures. If you're into scarcely discernible vocals growled/shouted over the top of guitar lines that sound like swarms of insects, with manic, tightly controlled rhythms to match, then Skeleton Witch should be just your speed. (Denver's own Havok, Early Graves and Mutilation Rites are also on this bill.)
4. XAVIER RUDD @ OGDEN THEATRE | FRI, 11/10/12 Australian-born performer Xavier Rudd takes the multi-instrumentalist label far beyond its usual connotation. In addition to creating music with his voice and an acoustic guitar, he employs didgeridoos, djembes, cymbals, stomp boxes and slide guitars. This is perhaps why Rudd's music is best experienced live and what has made him a Bonnaroo staple. Releasing more than a dozen records in the last decade -- both live and studio -- much of Rudd's musical work is an exploration of his socially and spiritually-conscious interests in environmentalism, animal rights and his advocacy for the indigenous people of Australia. (Xavier Rudd is also due tomorrow night at the Fox Theatre.)
3. INPUT (CD RELEASE) @ MARQUIS THEATER | SAT, 11/10/12 Gustavo D'Arthenay is better known these days as Input, an emerging rapper who's been grinding hard for the better part of the past decade. With a half-dozen releases and two more -- including Bomb's Over Everything, a seven-track album produced by Supa Hot Beats (aka Will Power, an Atlanta producer who's worked on tracks for the likes of Yelawolf, Wiz Khalifa, Eminem and Slaughterhouse) -- due in the next few months, Input is starting to make a name for himself. Dial back the clock to the spring of 1999, though, and the rapper was simply Gus D'Arthenay, a wide-eyed fourteen-year-old student at Columbine High School, still adjusting to being in such a big place after the small private school he'd attended previously. On an April morning that nobody around here is likely to forget, two of his classmates conducted one of the worst school shootings in history, violently turning D'Arthenay and his classmates' lives upside down. D'Arthenay remembers waiting for the madness to end, and when it finally did, the impetus of his young life came sharply into focus. (continue reading Input profile)
2. CALDER'S REVOLVERS @ SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | FRI, 11/9/12 It's still a bit early to start engaging in any album-of-the-year type of discussion. Just the same, Steady by Your Side, which offers one of the most exhilarating listening experiences of the year by far, warrants inclusion in any such conversation. Yes, Andy Schneider's burnished vocals and the band's blend of robust rock and soul are bound to draw immediate (and admittedly apt) comparisons to the Black Keys; more astute listeners will also be able to detect shades of everything from ELO to Grand Funk to classic Memphis soul swirled into the finish. But Calder's Revolvers succeeds where so many other bands have failed: first, by delivering an exceptional album in an era dominated by singles, but even more impressive, by making music so good that it doesn't matter one iota where it came from -- you just want to hear more. More guitar, more organ, more horns, more belting. Just more.
1. A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS @ LARIMER LOUNGE | SUN, 11/11/12 A Place to Bury Strangers makes the kind of guitar rock that doesn't just carry melody but is rather a palpable, elemental presence in the room. From early on, the act drew immediate comparisons to My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain, the Cure and Big Black, as critics searched for adequate and accurate touchstones to describe the band's sound. Grounded not just in shoegaze, though, this New York band has clearly learned a thing or two from the noisier underground rock bands that put the Providence, Rhode Island DIY venue Fort Thunder on the map.
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