Don't Go Shopping This Weekend: See These Five Great Shows Instead

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The truth is that no one in his or her right mind wants to go shopping on Black Friday.

So rather than waiting at the doors early morning at some big box store hoping to get one of the five rare items before the other barbarians at the gate can sack the establishment of all its prime booty, save yourself some heartache and go see a show.

See also: The Ten Most Underrated Guitarists in the History of Rock

Medusa w/Homebody and Spectral Voice | Black & Read | Friday, November 28, 2014 | 1 p.m. | free

Medusa started in 1973 and broke up in 1976, never having released its debut album and with only a couple of 45s under its belt. Fortunately, in 2012, an associate of the Numero Group label in Chicago found one of those records at a record expo. Not recognizing the name of the band, but knowing the imprint put out important local music in the '70s, that associate set in motion Numero, contacting Gary and Donna Brown, who had moved to Denver in the mid-'80s. In 2013, the fruits of that connection came out as First Step Beyond and it immediately attracted attention in this era when doom and sludge metal and psychedelic hard rock have come back into vogue. The Browns, now in their 60s, put together a new band and started playing the first shows as Medusa in 2014. With a new record in the works, released some forty years after the recording of the songs for First Step Beyond, Medusa has been contacted by heavy bands throughout the world with requests for sharing the stage. See this amazing band at Black and Read before its legend takes it to larger venues regularly.

The Widow's Bane w/Robert Louis Cole | The Walnut Room | Friday, November 28, 2014 | 8 p.m. | $7

Halloween was almost a month ago, but why not relive the holiday at a show with the Widow's Bane. The group performs as zombies playing old-timey music and wearing period-appropriate clothing. Seems as though the band is focusing its performance on music that might have come out during the Great Depression or at least it is offering a $2 discount if you come up dressed as though you came out of that period.

Wayfarer w/Primitive Man, Of Feather and Bone and Spectral Voice | Hi-Dive | Friday, November 28, 2014 | 8:30 p.m. | $10

Denver's Wayfarer is releasing its debut album on Prosthetic Records at this show, Children of the Iron Age. The self-proclaimed atmospheric metal band combines a primal sound with a keen ear for mood and melody. Also on the bill are other notable bands in local heavy music. Primitive Man is slated to perform at Roadburn 2015 and its own latest material has displayed a talent for going for transcendence as well as crushing heaviness.

The Lollygags w/Ghost-Towners, Gort Vs. Goom and Brother Sister hex | Hi-Dive | Saturday, November 29, 2014 | 7:30 p.m. | $7

Jonathan Snyder had one of the better pop/rock bands in the latter part of the first decade of the 2000s with Missing Dufrenes. Named after characters in a truly eccentric and brilliant Mitch Hedberg skit, the band had a knack for consistently interesting and surreal songwriting. For the past three years, Snyder has been back at music with his new band the Lollygags, which is releasing its first EP this night. Fans of left-field pop music that isn't dumbing things down would do well to check out this show as it also includes bass and drum duo Gort Vs. Goom whose own Tubes-esque take on art rock is something to behold.

Animal / object, Mondo Obscura and Solypsis | Mutiny Information Café | Sunday, November 30, 2014 | 7 p.m. | $5

This month's edition of Textures, Wesley Davis' showcase of ambient music, includes Animal/Object. The group has its core membership of four with occasional line-ups, including three or more other members is something like a very abstract jazz band and spontaneous composition project. Over the summer, Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes has occasionally sitting in with the band on violin. The organic atmospheres and inspired improvisational flourishes of the group makes each show unique.

• BACKBEAT'S GREATEST HITS • - Seven of Denver's Most Underrated Bands - You'll Never See Another Show Like The One Chimney Choir Has Planned - Why DIY Venues Are Vital Are Vital to the Health of the Entire Music Scene - DIY or Die: Why Denver Need Under-The-Radar, All-Ages Arts Spaces

If you'd like to contact me, Tom Murphy, on Twitter, my handle is @simianthinker.

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