Weekend's best live music bets: The Swayback, Pure Sunshine II, Snoop Dogg and more
The Swayback celebrates the release of its eagerly awaited new album, Double Four Time, tomorrow night at the hi-dive.
Ilustration Noah Van Sciver, colorization Eric Halborg
Welcome to the weekend! Whether you're making your way up to the mountains for Snowball Music Festival 2012 or staying behind in the city, there's an abundance of musical choices: Tonight at the Fillmore Snoop Dogg throws down before heading up the hill himself for a slot at Snowball, while a couple of Denver legends, Spell and '57 Lesbian, get back together at the Bluebird to celebrate the memory of their fallen friend Rick Kulwicki and raise some money for his twin boys at Pure Sunshine II, and tomorrow night, the Swayback unveils its latest masterpiece, Double Four Time, at the hi-dive, and the Foot. releases a pair of brand new EPs at the Bluebird. And of course there's much more. Page down for this weekend's best live music bets.
FRIDAY, MARCH 2
Snoop Dogg is one of the very few performers in hip-hop who can say he's watched the genre grow old with grace. From his tumultuous times at Death Row Records to a questionable signing with the No Limit label, Snoop has soldiered on through the years to become one of the game's greatest legends. His lyrics, his California swag and his consistent ear for head-banging rap beats continually put Snoop ahead of the class. His coolness is immeasurable, and he envelops his audiences with it at his shows. Well, that and marijuana smoke. Through it all, Snoop has built the Doggfather legacy and amassed a cult following that grows with every performance and carries his hip-hop message to the world.
Back in the mid-'90s, with the Fluid in limbo after the release of Glue and Roadmouth, Matt Bischoff found himself yearning to get back to playing regularly. He discovered that his friends Dave Stewart, a former bandmate in the Frantix, and Chanin Floyd, who had recently left Twice Wilted, were available. Their mutual love of simple, blunt and to-the-point rock and roll jelled when the three of them jammed together in what became the first incarnation of '57 Lesbian. After some lineup changes, including Floyd's departure to focus on Spell, the band went on permanent hiatus, with Bischoff becoming involved with Boss 302. '57 Lesbian (joined by Spell) will play at Pure Sunshine II -- a show to benefit the twin sons of the late, great Rick Kulwicki -- tonight at the Bluebird, and you can bet there will be no skimping on the primal vitality for which this band was known.
Up until the middle part of the last decade, Charles Rowell and Brandon Welchez spent time in underground punk and noisy post-punk bands in San Diego, the most noteworthy of which was the Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower. That act dissolved in 2006; two years later, the duo created Crocodiles, which had the same kind of energetic intensity as their previous endeavors. This time, though, they injected it into dreamier soundscapes for a kind of distorted, almost confrontational, psychedelic music, akin to early Tanker-era Bailterspace. The fuzzy expansiveness and emotional fire heard on the group's second album, Sleep Forever, proved to translate even better to the live setting. Expect transporting sounds, along with driving, spiky dynamics and a charismatic frontman who makes you believe that garage rock didn't drown in reverb-drenched surf tunes.
"Showing your work at a Santa Fe gallery is like having your mom and dad home at a party," says artist Vincent Fasano, who with his twin brother Charly (also known as "City Mouse") have been tapped to help curate art shows at the Phoenix Gallery in the basement of 3 Kings Tavern. This month, the brothers Fasano will present their own work alongside that of two other artists, Heretik Art and Faim Worldwide, during Fast Geek Boutique's March Art Show and Live Music Series, which kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. with Weirdword. "It breaks the ice if there's a [rock] show going on," says Charly when explaining his preference for art shows at a music venue rather than a gallery. "I like my art to be surrounded by punk-rock music," agrees Vincent. "I'd take that over a gallery any day."
SATURDAY, MARCH 3
The Swayback's new album, Double Four Time, is its best yet and features a dozen songs recorded at a variety of studios, including Capitol Studios, Silo Sound Studios, the Blasting Room and Hideaway Studios in Salida, with Andy Johns, Jason Livermore, Jeff Kanan, Nick Sullivan and Marc Benning, respectively. Of the twelve cuts, three are from the Andy Johns sessions, and there's a batch of newer songs, including a full band version of "St. Francis" and "What Death Cares About." Tonight the band celebrates the release of this eagerly anticipated platter with Hearts in Space and the Baltic. (Download The Swayback's set from last night's in-store at Twist & Shout at FlatResponse.com)
If The Hangman, the follow-up to Foot.'s 2010's excellent debut, Primary Colors, was tantalizingly short at just three songs, it whet the appetite for what was to come from this solid, steadily progressing outfit. And what was to come from this act, which conjures the musical majesty of acts like Kings X, turns out to be a pair of new, no doubt excellent EPs, which the outfit will release tonight in the company of Eldren, Take to the Oars and the Big Motif.
Ani DiFranco has a solid cult following that dates back to the '90s, when young women found refuge in her defiant, angst-ridden music. Since then, the Buffalo-hailing singer-songwriter and feminist icon has embraced motherhood and revealed a softer, more vulnerable self in her songs. She isn't as radical as she used to be, but neither are her fans, many of whom now also have families of their own. Troubled or not, DiFranco always delivers an emotionally charged live performance and, thankfully, never loses perspective on what attracted her fans in the first place. When someone heckles her to play something for those who are still depressed (there are always a few in the audience), she kindly obliges with a rendition of -- what else? -- "Grey."
SUNDAY, MARCH 4
While Dia Frampton gained some notoriety as part of Meg & Dia, a band she started with her sister and toured the world, Frampton was seen by millions last year on NBC's television series The Voice. After finishing the show, Universal Republic Records signed her and released her solo debut, Red, last December.
Based in Portland, Oregon, Radiation City is a five-piece that writes '60s girl group inspired with a bite. Frontwoman Lizzy Ellison comes across like a modern day Patsy Cline on the band's debut, The Hands That Take You, released last year on Tender Loving Empire. Their EP Cool Nightmare is slate for release on April 10.
Colorado native Manuel Lopez discovered a fondness for Latin music after he stared playing congas in his early teens, and then found his way to the drum kit. Together with pianist Peter Ellingson and bassist Eduardo "Bijoux" Barbosa, Lopez's trio delves into a variety of repertoire from old Cuban standards to more modern arrangements. The trio plays at Dazzle every Sunday evening.
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