The ten best shows in Denver this weekend
De La Soul plays Saturday at Cervantes'
Hooo buddy. There are shows this weekend in Denver. Who needs Austin when you've got the legendary New Orleans Suspects, the even more legendary De La Soul and a bunch of dudes with laptops, right here in your hometown? Not us. We'll be here, seeing what Chris Adolf is up to with his new American Culture outfit and feeling nostalgic with the Ataris. See you there.
Formed in 2004 by Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein of the Disco Biscuits, Conspirator allows the two musicians to really explore and let out any electronic notions they have. Now a popular band in its own right, Conspirator plays shows that are heavy and melodic and there's always dancing. The occasional dub step beats mix with the bouncy textured electro to create a sound that pioneered a genre.
My dubstep has a first name, and it's D-O-C-T-O-R-P. Having established himself as one of the originators in bringing dubstep to the masses, Doctor P's early hits still get regular play in the biggest sets. To boot, his Circus Records imprint is constantly releasing new bangers, and that means the now-tired "Sweet Shop" can get a little break from constant plays. Alongside Cookie Monsta, it's safe to say that both of these acts will destroy the Funktion-Ones, and the ears of everyone throwing down on the main floor of Beta.
Just off the release of his critically acclaimed new album Overstep, Phish bassist Mike Gordon hits Colorado again with his band at the Boulder Theater. We just spoke with Gordon the other day, and he said that this time around they were going for a "more is more" approach, and had some tricks up his sleeve he couldn't wait to show the fans. The album is filled with catchy, quirky pop tunes that have some very complicated rhythms going on in the background, so expect a night of clever melodies, and get ready to jump together when they play "Jumping."
New Orleans super group The New Orleans Suspects are no strangers to this area, and on March 14, they will be bringing their years of experience back through for a night of brassy funky Crescent City style sounds. As they throw the ball back and forth letting each talented musician show off their virtuosity with solo after improvisational solo, you can almost smell the powdered sugar wafting from Café du Monde. Leftover Salmon's Vince Herman will open the night with his raucous rock band Great American Taxi. Sounding at times like The Band, the songs blend honky tonk piano and rock and roll guitar with a little bluegrass and roots music. It will make a show that would be fun even without the great Vince Herman's effervescent front-man stage presence.
Chris Glover plays under the moniker Penguin Prison, and with that moniker comes live production at its finest. Remixing, mashing, and live vocals all infuse a set that leaves dance floors sweaty and thirsting for more. This is the second time Denver Disco has brought the artist, and it certainly won't be the last given how hard he throws down in Denver. Disco is easily coming back with a vengeance, and this new mask it is wearing seems to be really catching on. See Penguin Prison alongside Pruitt and SightLow.
Chris Adolf made a name for himself in his home town of Grand Junction for his diverse musical skills and his heartfelt, unabashedly earnest songwriting. Whether as a member of his long-running indie pop group Love Letter Band or the more noisy V-Tech Orchid, Adolf made an impression on people as someone who was doing it for real and not as a ploy for popularity. When he established the DIY venue The Pop-Up House, Grand Junction became an unlikely stopping place for touring bands on the underground circuit of the early 21st century. When Adolf moved to Denver he started performing solo as Bad Weather California and commanded rooms full of people with just his emotionally-charged vocals and an acoustic guitar. That project evolved over time into a full band that became one of the most beloved acts in the Denver underground before calling it quits in the summer of 2013. Immediately following the demise of BWC, Adolf and most of the then members of the band formed American Culture, which has released a couple of tapes of American New Wave-esque rock. This work is some of Adolf's finest songwriting to date.
Formed in 1995, The Ataris from Anderson, Indiana started off as kind of a bedroom recording project. In 1996, the band got a demo to one of the members of The Vandals, who contacted singer/guitarist Kristopher Roe about putting out an album on Kung Fu Records. The resultant release, 1997's Anywhere but Here was fairly standard, if decent, pop punk fare. Roe moved to California and put together an actual band. He wrote and recorded the follow-up EP, 1998's Look Forward to Failure, which included one of the group's most popular songs, "San Dimas High School Football Rules." The Ataris entered more into the musical mainstream with the release of its 2003 album, So Long, Astoria and after some more years being inactive than active of late, the band's current tour features a performance of that album in its entirety.
No one questions the significance of De La Soul, the outfit responsible for introducing such trappings as skits and neon to hip-hop. Those were superficial contributions, of course: The Long Island trio was writing more clever, complex lyrics than pretty much anyone else rapping in the '80s. But no genre punishes age more than hip-hop, just as no genre has evolved so dramatically in the past twenty years. Many of De La's peers feel like worn-out museum installations, and yet MCs Posdnuos, Dave and Maseo remain vital contribu-tors and vibrant live performers. The D.A.I.S.Y. Age endures.
Dubfire won a Grammy in 2002 as part of the duo Deep Dish, for a remix of Dido's "Thank You." And while that's certainly a crowning achievement for any musician, most of the DJ's best work has come in the dozen years since then. Working as a solo artist since 2006, Dubfire is best known for creating tracks and spinning sets that pack dance floors worldwide. But it's among his fellow musicians that he's earned the most accolades, acting as a guest for several high-profile Ibiza residents and releasing tracks from both established and up-and-coming artists on his SCI+TEC label. He's crafted a signature sound since breaking out on his own: sleek, powerful, elegant techno that's carefully paced, each beat and melody precisely placed within the overarching musical machine. It's something you have to hear to believe, and you'll have your chance on Saturday, March 15, when Dubfire headlines Beta.
There was a time when Nipsey Hussle was considered the future of Los Angeles rap, but a self-inflicted indefinite postponement on his debut album, South Central State of Mind, a professed masterpiece in the making, has cooled his hype considerably. Since then, he has gone through numerous label changes and has found enough in-between work to sustain him until his new debut, Victory Lap, is scheduled to be released in the coming months.
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