The Twelve Best Concerts in Denver This Weekend
Flying Lotus plays Saturday at the Fillmore.
Brian Feinzimer for OC Weekly. Full slideshow here.
Solid weekend of shows here in town, with legends like Death From Above 1979 playing in Boulder and Dinosaur Jr.'s J. Mascis playing a pair of nights at Larmier Lounge. The rest of our picks follow.J. Mascis Larimer Lounge : 9:00 p.m. November 21; 9:00 p.m. November 22
For years, Dinosaur Jr. shows have been notoriously loud. So loud, in fact, that bassist Lou Barlow has resorted to using two sets of earplugs: one stuffed way down in his ear canals, and another gaffer-taped on top of that. Sure, the band can be sonically intense, but when frontman J Mascis goes the solo route and plays a fair amount of acoustic guitar, the dBs aren't quite as bullying to the ears. His latest solo album, Tied to a Star, released on Sub Pop last August, is a more subdued effort than most of his work with Dinosaur Jr., especially the ballads "Me Again" and "Wide Awake," which feature guest vocals from Chan Marshall. Mascis hasn't gone completely soft, though: He also peppered in more up-tempo cuts like "Every Morning" and the Middle Eastern-flavored "Drifter."Flosstradamus 1STBANK Center : 7:00 p.m. November 21
It was only a matter of time before someone brought Dirty South beats into the world of EDM, and Flosstradamus has certainly set the precedent for what a good trap show is supposed to be like. It's like Flosstradamus slipped drum and bass tracks in a potent cup of lean. Trap music has been around for awhile, but in this new era acts like Flosstradamus are bringing chopped beats and bangin' kicks to the dance floor.Southern Soul Assembly Ogden Theatre : 8:00 p.m. November 21
While JJ Grey, Anders Osborne, Marc Broussard and Luther Dickinson are energetic singers who front their own bands -- like Grey's Mofro and Dickinson's North Mississippi Allstars -- when they're sitting down with a guitar and performing as artists-in-the-round as Southern Soul Assembly, the music can be just as gripping.Orgone Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom : 9:00 p.m. November 21
While its members had been playing together long before Orgone was born, the Los Angeles funk band officially formed in 1999. Not long after its inception, the band added vocalist Fanny Franklin to augment its ornate instrumentation -- the standard guitar, bass and drum set up, fleshed out with a beautifully orchestrated horn section, congas and more. Though Orgone's origins as an instrumental band can clearly be heard in their funky, intricate noodling, it is Franklin's soulful vocal leading that brings the diverse group closer to its audience in a live setting. For fans of throwbacks like Booker T. & The M.G.'s and early Parliament Funkadelic, Orgone has a danceable spread just for you.Yelawolf Gothic Theatre : 9:00 p.m. November 21
Yelawolf's career -- since blowing up with Trunk Muzik, an outstandingly good mixtape, and signing to the illustrious Shady Records -- has unexpectedly slowed. However, the mixtape Trunk Muzik Returns shows that Yelawolf still has the capacity to make good music, and the short film "Growin' Up in the Gutter" (which is disturbingly graphic) shows that he still has plenty of artistic ammunition.
Mako 1972 3 Kings Tavern : November 22 Mako 1972 might have taken its name from one of several things: a boat, a shark, maybe even a lost film by director Mako Iwamatsu. It doesn't really matter, though, because a cryptic name suits this band well. Mako's noisy, metallic rock comes out of left field, much like the output of those great Swami Records bands of the early '90s. And that's no surprise, given the band's pedigree: The lineup includes Eric Bliss, of Salt Lake City's visceral Form of Rocket; Rachel Lujan, from the appropriately named Fire Season; veteran drummer and soundman Devon Rogers, from Register; and Luke Fairchild, who's probably best known as the charismatic frontman of Git Some. The group's fluid dynamics and bursts of expressive soundscaping set it outside of any conventional punk or rock boundaries. Hear for yourself on Saturday, November 22, when Mako 1972 takes the stage at 3 Kings Tavern.Adventure Club 1STBANK Center : 7:00 p.m. November 22
The Montreal-based Adventure Club is a production ouftit/DJ duo formed by musicians Christian Srigley and Leighton James in early 2011. After a blitz in the studio, they released a number of tracks as well as an EP that includes remixes ranging from 1950s classics, post-hardcore rock to electronic.Flying Lotus Fillmore Auditorium : 8:00 p.m. November 22
Although considered by many to be a hip-hop producer, Steven Ellison has displayed musical and artistic ambitions that are clearly not confined to a narrow range of classification. Drawing inspiration from the late hip-hop genius J Dilla, Ellison, under the moniker Flying Lotus, has likewise brought considerable imagination and a creatively ambitious spirit to his own compositions, collaborations and remixes. When you listen to a Flying Lotus album, it's like you're hearing music that isn't trying to fit into a genre -- but at the same time, you don't sense a conscious effort to be musically subversive. The character, the myths, the stories and the energy of Los Angeles are infused into Ellison's music, much like New York is a kind of indispensable character and presence in Woody Allen films.Toad the Wet Sprocket Ogden Theatre : 8:00 p.m. November 22
More than two decades ago, Toad the Wet Sprocket's infamous song "All I Want" was one of those inescapable songs on the '90s airwaves competing with the likes of Nirvana and Soundgarden. After a few more Billboard hits from their 1991 album Fear along with multiple albums following, the Santa Barbara-based group took an extended break from band life only to come back together in 2010. And last year, the band returned to form with New Constellation, which was funded by fans on Kickstarter and is the first album since 1997's Coil.Death From Above 1979 Fox Theatre : 8:30 p.m. November 22
When the post-punk revival was in full swing, around the turn of the 21st century, Toronto's Death From Above 1979 was one of the bright and shining lights of the loosely defined movement. The band's effusive energy and gritty sound meant that it never fit in with the gloomier pop end of post-punk, and it was just a little too noisy and weird for "dance punk." Despite having released only one album during its initial run, 2004's You're a Woman, I'm a Machine, the group garnered a cult following. Five years after their 2006 breakup, the members of DFA 1979 announced a reunion, and a sophomore album, The Physical World, followed. The next time the band comes through Colorado, it will probably play at a less intimate venue.Chrissie Hynde The Paramount Theatre : 8:00 p.m. November 23
Chrissie Hynde is not one to romanticize the past, but she's done plenty that almost anyone else who has done even a tenth as much would be right to feel proud about. In the mid-'70s, Hynde moved from her home town of Akron, Ohio, to London, England, and landed in the midst of what was fast becoming the punk scene, just in time for a stint in an early version of the Damned. As the leader of the Pretenders, Hynde wrote and co-wrote some of the most memorable and honest rock songs of the modern era. Last June, Hynde released Stockholm, her first album under her own name.RL Grime Ogden Theatre : 8:30 p.m. November 23
It takes real skill and a diverse set of songs to stand out in EDM these days since the field has become so saturated. RL Grime (aka Henry Steinway) is a producer that is not diluting the market with sub-par mixing. Instead, he is steering it in a way that throws back to anthemic rap roots, all while weaving a modern thump of heavy bass through it all. You don't go to a RL Grime show to hear the same old trap tracks -- most of which are pulled from his catalog anyway -- but you will hear some modern hip-hop vocals laced with distorted synths and the occasional hip-hop horn, reminding you that rap still rules the airwaves, even if it's wearing the mask of EDM.
• BACKBEAT'S GREATEST HITS •
- 50 Photos That Prove Red Rocks Is the Most Beautiful Venue on the Planet
- Photos: Musicians Buying (Legal) Weed in Denver
- The Ten Most Underrated Guitarists in the History of Rock
- 50 Ways to Support Your DIY Music Community
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.