There's nothing like experiencing the sweat, thump and catharsis of a great show. But it can be tough to decide which one to go to when you live in Denver, the land of embarrassing musical riches, the land of too many shows and too little time. So which ones are worth checking out? Glad you asked. Because we work for you, we've compiled a list of the best shows this weekend in one easy-to-swallow post, with video and audio.
This weekend, like all weekends in our fair city (except for last weekend, when the Westword Music Showcase popped the mind grapes of 11,000 attendees and trumped every other music-related event in history), can't help but leave you with some tough calls. With touring acts like Mates of State and MSTRKRFT making appearances, Ian Cooke rocking the Denver Art Museum, Jim McTurnan and the Kids that Killed the Man slated to, well, kill it, and a CD Release Party from the Say So (check out the interview), you'll be tearing your hair out with indecision. Check them out after the jump.
01. MSTRKRFT With Bird Peterson, London Dungeon Ogden Theater Friday, June 25, 10 p.m. $25
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: The name--pronounced "mastercraft"--fits; the duo that comprises this Toronto-based dance act is truly a master of its craft. Taking pounding club beats and multiplying them by 10, MSTRKRFT piles on distorted synths, relentless energy and occasional rapping for some of the most aggressive electronica out there.
02. IAN COOKE Denver Art Museum Friday, June 25, 7 p.m. $22
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: If the price tag seems hefty even for a local cello-hero of virtuosic talents like Ian Cooke, it's because Cooke is but one piece in the artsy-fartsy puzzle that makes up the DAM's Untitled series. While Cooke's beautiful avant-pop certainly fits the bill, you'll also be privy to a Fabric Lab-sponsored fashion show, an appearance from the Buntport Theater, a bunch of other activities, and, of course, art. Students get it two-for-one.
03. MATES OF STATE Bluebird Theater Saturday, June 26, 8 p.m. $15
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: For those who dig cutesy indie-pop duos like Tegan and Sarah, there is no indie-pop duo more cutesy than Mates of State, a husband-and-wife team out of San Fransisco. With the requisite electronic beats, flourishes of orchestration, unassumingly catchy pop melodies and lyrics so adorably naïve they've been scientifically proven to make hipsters' pants tighter, Mates of State will make you absolutely fawn.
04. JIM McTURNAN AND THE KIDS THAT KILLED THE MAN With Hindershot, The Pillowfighter, The Yes We Cans Larimer Lounge Saturday, June 26, 8 p.m. $6 WHY YOU SHOULD GO: If it's a more classic sound you seek, Jim McTurnan and his kids might be just the ticket. Hearkening back to the best sounds of the alternative '90s (think Weezer or the more accessible work of Sonic Youth), McTurnan steeps unaffected vocals and solid pop hooks in power chords and just the right touch of unexpected instrumentation.
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05. THE SAY SO CD RELEASE PARTY With Nautical Mile, The Foot, Chambio Marquis Theater Friday, June 25, 8 p.m. $8 WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Because we said so. But seriously, folks, the Say So's blend of pop punk and Killers-esque dance rhythms and guitar jabs will stimulate your mind while simultaneously moving your feet. Add that to the wicked light show the band is reportedly self-engineering just for the show, and you've got an equation that's not hard to solve: just go, already.