The weekend's five best concerts: October 12-14
Brother Ali is just one of the five best concerts this weekend.
Hola, muchachos! Welcome to the weekend! While the Great American Beer Fest and Sonic Blossom are probably the biggest draws this weekend in the Mile High City and the pickings are slightly slimmer than usual, there's still a great deal of music to choose from. As always, we have all of it listed in our comprehensive concert calendar for perusal at your leisure. Of course, if you'd rather coast into the weekend without having to expend the energy, we've singled out the weekend's five best concerts. It's an eclectic blend this weekend from absurdity and fuzz to jazz and hip-hop. Keep reading to see what we picked.
To get an idea of what you're in for with Bob Log III, consider this snapshot from a set we caught a number of years ago from the former Doo Rag member: "Bob Log III walked on stage wearing a motorcycle helmet with a telephone attached to the visor and black Elvis-inspired studded jumpsuit. 'I'd like to introduce the band,' he said. 'My left foot on cymbal. My right foot on bass drum. And my hands on guitar.' Throughout his set, he'd introduce the songs like, 'This is a song about dancing under a big rock,' or 'This one's about my little friend who sticks out sometimes, and sometimes he doesn't - I'm talking my finger.' Thing is, if he didn't introduce the songs, you'd have no idea what the hell was coming out of his mouth since singing with a telephone rigged as a microphone made his lyrics nearly indecipherable. One of the few tunes that was remotely recognizable was "Boob Scotch," which he played while two gals from the crowd each straddled one of his legs, and bounced around as Log worked the bass drum and hi-hat."
Lords of Fuzz thundered into being from a tough time in Oscar Ross' life. He'd recently gotten a divorce and moved to Denver from Texas and decided to pursue music as an outlet. After numerous line-up changes, and three albums, Lords of Fuzz are releasing their most fully-realized record to date, Broken Bottles and Knives, this Saturday at 3 Kings Tavern. Part stoner rock, part heavy psychedelia, it is the kind of rock and roll album that makes no apologies for excesses and doesn't try to fit into a trendy genre. It's heavy and raw but informed by an underlying sense of melody.
One of the more exciting pianists in jazz today, Vijay Iyer has won a slew of awards over the past few years, including five different nods in the DownBeat International Critics' Poll. Awards notwithstanding, if you need proof of what amazing chops this Grammy-nominated composer-pianist has, look no further than any of his ACT recordings, especially this year's outstanding Accelerando. Iyer holds a Bachelor of Science in math and physics from Yale, as well as a master's degree in physics and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in technology and the arts from the University of California at Berkeley.
Over the past dozen years, the Bad Plus has established itself as one of the most daring jazz trios in the world. And in that time, pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King have proved they can easily maneuver through hard-hitting energetic songs, tone it down on ballads or turn other folks' songs inside out and make them their own. While primarily an acoustic trio, the Bad Plus lays down layers of synths and electronic drum sounds on the brand-new Made Possible.
Unshakably soulful, both stylistically and in depth of content, Brother Ali has been releasing intelligent and heartfelt music for over a decade. Though his acclaimed second album, Shadows on the Sun, earned him a devoted underground following, he gained widespread notoriety and praise with his scathing critique of U.S. political policy, "Uncle Sam Goddamn." Brother Ali has always been at the forefront of hip-hop activism, and though many rappers talk the talk, few do the dirty work like he does. While some rappers were getting arrested on drug charges, Ali was getting arrested for noncompliance and trespassing in support of the Occupy Homes anti-foreclosure protests in Minneapolis, where he spent his adolescence. Brother Ali recently released the well-received yet commercially underwhelming Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color on the famed independent Rhymesayers label that he shares with other hip-hop standouts Atmosphere, MF DOOM and Aesop Rock. (Brother Ali is also at the Fox Theatre on Saturday, October 13.)
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