Weekend's best live bets: Cobraconda, Real Estate, Joe Sampson, Carbon Choir and more
Catch Cobraconda tonight at Illegal Pete's in LoDo.
Welcome to the weekend! You've worked hard all week and now it's (almost) time to cut loose. As usual, plenty on tap this weekend. The Cobraconda dudes kick things off tonight at Illegal Pete's with a party celebrating the release of their new disc, Spring Break, while Real Estate showcases its wares at the Gothic Theatre and Munly and the Lupercalians get all sorts of ominous at the hi-dive. Tomorrow night, meanwhile, Joe Sampson celebrates the release of his new platter, Kill Our Friends, in the company of, well, his friends at the hi-dive, while Carbon Choir drops its new disc at the Marquis Theater with some fellow Westword Music Showcase nominees, and Lambchop stops by the Fox Theatre. Page down for a full rundown of the weekend's shows and your best bets.
See Also: Cobraconda goes on Spring Break
While most potential rap stars try to find their place among the boom-bap enthusiasts and mainstream hard-core rap world, Cobraconda is working on an aesthetic that's all about the party and nothing but the party. With music best described as life imitating art, the two keep the party gangster while kicking real rhymes with original production and hilarious themes (keep an eye out for The Carter 27, a response to the ongoing series of album releases by Lil Wayne). And there is nothing they're more qualified to write about than the art of the party. Their sound has been described as the love child of LMFAO and 2 Live Crew, and their style is so raunchy and drug-laced, you couldn't get higher if you put the CD directly on your tongue.
See Also: Q&A with Alex Bleeker of Real Estate
There's no shortage of dreamy, washed-out vibes in indie music these days, but Real Estate -- which hails from the not-so-sunny suburb of Ridgewood, New Jersey -- is doling out reverb rock with the best of them. The quartet's sophomore album, Days, glides listlessly through its ten tracks, recalling the long afternoons of youth that played out on sidewalks and skateboards, when the only thing worth hurrying for was the approaching ice cream truck. Songs like "Easy" and "Out of Tune" are neat containers of guitar pop bathed in the warm glow of vintage gear. There are no drum machines or square-tone synths here -- just a few languid chords, breathy vocals, and the feeling of a simple good time. That's more than enough
Jay Munly's presence can be a bit frightening at times. And with some of the Lupercalians wearing black robes and cone hats and others wearing burlap hoods at their shows, the whole experience treads on the verge of being downright creepy -- probably not something you'd want to take your five-year-old daughter to. But if you wanted her, or anyone else, to get a completely different take on the children's tale Peter and the Wolf, written over seventy years ago by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, just park her between a pair of speakers and have her behold the dark glory of Munly & the Lupercalians' Petr & the Wulf. There's still some of the gothic country of Slim Cessna's Auto Club, of which Munly is co-frontman, but sometimes the twang is stripped away in favor of a completely different musical experience that can be as joyous as it is sinister.
Check out our newly revamped concert calendar for a complete listing of all of tonight's shows. Page down for rundown of tomorrow night's best bets.
Jules Bethea-Rateliff is so moved by Joe Sampson's music and believes in him so much that she's launched a new label with her friend Blake Nickoloff called Fellow Creature Recordings specifically to put out Sampson's first official release, Kill Our Friends. And Jules isn't alone in her admiration of the singer-songwriter, who earned a nod in Westword's Best of Denver 2008 issue, as evidenced by the cast of local luminaries who are coming together to help celebrate the release of his debut platter tonight at the hi-dive. Take a look at the guests who are slated to appear: Doug and Hayley of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, Stephen Brackett of Flobots, A. Tom Collins, Erin Roberts of Porlolo and new project, Ending People, Tiffany Meese of The Centenniel, Rachael Pollard, Esmé of Paper Bird and many more. This is sure to be a very special night to remember.
See Also: Q&A with Carbon Choir
Since its inception, Carbon Choir has explored many styles of music -- all very different from the teenage punk rock of Petrol Apathy, an outfit in which some of the members used to play. Frontman Joel Van Horne left that band in 1999 because he felt like he wanted more from music than just three chords and attitude. Teaming up with two of his ex-bandmates, drummer Scott Weidner and bassist Ryan Fechter, and the only keyboardist to answer an ad posted at CU-Boulder, Chris Hatton, Van Horne formed Carbon Choir in 2007. By the time of 2009's High Beams, the band had discovered an emotionally stirring amalgam of power pop, jazz and a melancholy yet triumphant spirit. For their latest offering, Sakhalin, the four have continued to hone their sound without losing their talent for building expansive moods or their penchant for impassioned live shows.
See Also: Q&A with Kurt Wagner of Lambchop
"Nashville's most fucked-up country band" is back. The oft-quoted tagline of Lambchop (due at the Fox Theatre tomorrow night) sounds straight out of ringleader Kurt Wagner's lyric book: It's at once self-effacing, boastful and mischievous, and is truth-in-advertising on their latest record, Mr. M. Four years have passed since the band's last album, a time lapse Wagner refers to as "breathing room" for his songs. To call the 54-year-old songwriter meticulous and calculating might be an understatement. Lambchop has cornered the market on baroque, literate songs that take a while to develop and perhaps longer to digest. The ensemble's records are hard to shelve in the alt-country or orchestral-rock record bins, a fact that Wagner -- an artist with a capital A -- seems fine (or unconcerned) with. "Fucked-up country," indeed.
Check out our newly revamped concert calendar for a complete listing of all of tonight's shows.
Compiled by Nick Callaio.
Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.