Rakim, the Black, Betty Lavette, Bocumast and Denver Does Denver this week's top shows

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 week in one easy-to-swallow post, with video to boot.

05. Rakim with The Reminders and 3 the Hardway Fox Theatre Wednesday, August 25, 9 p.m. $20

Why you should go: Rakim will be performing Paid in Full in its entirety. That alone should be enough to peak the interest of most people; even without Eric B, it still stands as one of the greatest, most influential rap albums of all time. You're not going to get a lot of chances like this in your lifetime, and this one is not to be missed.

4. The Black hi-dive Wednesday, August 25, 9 p.m. $6

Why you should go: The Black features members of Voxtrot, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and others -- but that doesn't really give you the correct idea of what to expect. The band is more Bob Dylan than art rock, but the punk rock attitude still remains. Denver might already have it's own (rather large) set of punk kids doing country, but it might be nice to see what The Black has to offer.

3. Bettye Lavette with Something Underground Soiled Dove Thursday, August 26, 7 p.m. $20-$25

Why you should go: There isn't much out there like Bettye Lavette, at least not anymore. Fans of Northern soul won't want to miss Lavette, while anyone who calls themselves a fan of soul and R&B will find Lavette enchanting as well. Here recent releases on Anti- Records have been astounding and we doubt her live show will be any different.

2. Bocumast Residency with Hideous Men, Married in Berdichev, Astrophagus, Gumdrop Lollipop Lost Lake Thursday, August 26, 9 p.m. $5 suggested donation

Why you should go: This is the last week of Bocumast's residency at Lost Lake -- and they seem to planning on going out with a bang. Thus far, the residency has been filled with complete and total variety, and this weeks lineup doesn't look much different. Slotting these bands together might seem strange at first, but we'll venture a guess you'll still have a damn good time.

1. Denver Does Denver More than 20 bands performing songs by other bands Meadowlark, Community Space Saturday, August 28 $8/$12 DOS

Why you should go: Musicians covering other musicians, artists covering artists -- it might sound like complete chaos, but it should be an entertaining evening either way. We're not sure exactly what to expect, but with artists like The Flobots, Hunter Dragon, Oblio's Duo and Littles Paia taking part we're pretty sure it'll be compelling.

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Thorin Klosowski
Contact: Thorin Klosowski