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Now Hear This: Four Concerts You Should Know About Now

Dry Ice is bringing back grunge.
Dry Ice is bringing back grunge.
Kevin Rovno

Craving music you've never heard before? Here are four concerts you need to know about now.

Down Time

Friday, March 6, Lost Lake.
I was blown away by Down Time’s new video for “Hurts Being Alive.” There’s fire, lots of denim, sweeping desert vistas, and reality-bending cuts indebted to Maya Deren’s 1943 surrealist masterpiece Meshes of the Afternoon — which, just as an aside, is on YouTube and absolutely worth spending fifteen minutes watching. The meandering “Hurts Being Alive” is also the lead single and title track for the band’s Tennis-produced debut record, out this Friday. It couldn't come soon enough: Hurts Being Alive is a dreamy but spirited record, capital-I indie rock, with flashes of Feist, Kate Nash, Real Estate and Best Coast — and an early entry for one of the best local albums of 2020.

Mannequin Pussy
Saturday, March 7, Ogden Theatre.

Mannequin Pussy isn't even the headliner on Friday night. That’s indie darling Best Coast, back from the brink after frontwoman Bethany Cosentino’s battles with mental illness and substance abuse; her recovery is well documented on new LP Always Tomorrow, the band’s first in five years. But on to Mannequin Pussy, the Philadelphia punk band that doesn’t believe in subtlety or taking anything sitting down. The cover of its most recent (and truly excellent) album, Patience, shows a globe on fire; on the fast-and-loud “Drunk II,” frontwoman Marisa Dabice walks the bleeding edge of a messy breakup, singing, “I was so fucked up, I forgot we were broken up/I still love you, you stupid fuck.” Neither Cosentino nor Dabice are ones to mince words, and indie rock is all the better for it.

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Dry Ice
Sunday, March 8, Larimer Lounge.

Dry Ice is the kind of young rock band that makes fifty-year-old dudes in Melvins T-shirts say and/or tweet things like, “Maybe the kids are alright after all!” The Denver trio makes sweet and grungy guitar-led rock with a bite and the lowest of lo-fi sensibilities; comparisons to the Raincoats feel both deserved and inevitable. I would also toss out Lisa Prank, Mazzy Star (R.I.P., David Roback) and Slowdive as key reference points here, but let’s not get too bogged down in that. Since 2017 the trio has churned out two full-length albums and an EP, touching on all sorts of alternative spirituality on last year’s restless Hallucinations. If anyone is going to make tarot-core a genre, it’s likely to be Dry Ice.

Iyla
Monday, March 9, Larimer Lounge.

It’s been quite the journey for 26-year-old R&B artist Iyla. The L.A.-bred singer quit school to join a pop girl group, then left to make her own ’90s-inspired anti-pop, initially with debut EP War + Raindrops and more recently on last year’s OTHER WAYS TO VENT. She’s also found fans and collaborators in the older generations of hip-hop artists, appearing on Snoop Dogg’s “Walking on Air” and featuring Method Man on her own “Cash Rules.” Live, she drapes her stages in curtains of white flowers, a reference to her track “Flowers,” in which — plot twist — she expresses her disdain for long-stemmed blooms, especially when used in lieu of an actual apology. Quick shout-out to Iyla’s opener, local indie-pop/R&B/whatever artist YaSi, who’s making serious waves beyond Colorado. Her days as a Larimer Lounge opener are likely winding to a close, and soon. You can hold me to that.

Do you have a concert you want included in a Westword list? Send the details to editorial@westword.com.

Listen to Down Time, Mannequin Pussy, Dry Ice, Iyla and more favorites from Westword writers on our Westword Staff Picks playlist.

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