If you're looking for some captivating music this weekend, you need not look very far. Social Distortion kicks off its three-night stand tonight at the Ogden Theatre. Sean Paul is playing a free show tonight at Casselman's, Hells Belles channel AC/DC at the Fox, and the Queers stop by the Gothic. Tomorrow night, Beats Antique sets up shop at the Fillmore, Scott Kelly of Neurosis hits the hi-dive, and Mickey Avalon gets debaucherous at the Bluebird. Page down for a full rundown.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2
Mike Ness is the only constant member in Social Distortion's rotating cast for more than thirty years (with a few breaks in between) -- although some fans might argue that Ness essentially is Social Distortion. Ness has aged well. He and the band still tear through material with reckless abandon to deliver some thoroughly solid shows, and the singer doesn't sound a whole lot different than he did three decades ago. During Social D's three-night run at the Ogden (tonight through Sunday), there's a good chance the outfit will dip into everything from the act's 1983 debut Mommy's Little Monster to this year's Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, which includes the band's current lineup with former U.S. Bombs/Cadillac Tramps guitarist Jonny Wickersham, Suicidal Tendencies drummer David Hildago, Jr., and bassist Brent Harding.
Reggae-pop star Sean Paul will be in the Mile High City this Friday, turning Casselman's Bar & Venue into the Jamaican dancehall at a free show. Famous for songs like, "Gimme the Light," "We Be Burning," and a slew of other dance floor hitters, Sean Paul is a rhythmic strong hold and definitely worth making it out to see. The show is free, but there are some specifics you need to know. Namely, you must be prepared to party and get your drink on. The show is free, but there is a catch: A one drink minimum is required for entry. Wanna go? All you need to do is register online for free tickets. Your name will be on a 'will call' list at the door the day of the show. Obviously this party is 21+up, and the tunes are sure to be on point.
It takes balls the size of Tasmania to impersonate AC/DC, Australia's most famed musical export and an undeniable rock-and-roll legend. Uh, that is, unless you're Seattle's Hell's Belles -- an all-woman AC/DC tribute band that ably salutes all those about to rock. The band came together a decade ago, and since then has honed its chops and stage presence to a razor's edge, with new singer Amber Saxon strutting back and forth between Bon Scott's snarl and Brian Johnson's screech. Meanwhile, Adrian Conner does a canny and accomplished Angus Young impersonation, ripping power chords off her fret board like scabs off an open wound. Forget Rosie: How's about a whole lotta Hell's Belles?
The Queers have been around forever -- or so it seems. Any snot-nosed kid who's ever dipped into the punk scene, even if it was only for a summer, has probably elbowed a few faces in the pit at a Queers show, or at least bought (and later sold) an album from the act's lengthy discography. The Queers don't go away; instead, they get passed on year after year to younger generations. The punk scene is changing, however, and with every decade, it evolves into a hungrier moneymaking beast. Bands like the Queers, who started out when punk still meant "miscreant," are becoming endangered, and guys like Joe King, aka Joe Queer, come from a dying breed of musicians who are still in it to have fun.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3
Beats Antique, a trio made up of producer and show-stealing belly dancer Zoe Jakes and a pair of classically trained multi-instrumentalists, David Satori and Tommy Cappel, has crafted a sound that has roots in dubstep, hip-hop, indie rock and even Middle Eastern music. The act's often primal show includes Jakes and fellow belly dancers wearing animal masks, gyrating and seducing festival crowds across the country.
As the vocalist and guitarist in the foundational, experimental metal band Neurosis, Scott Kelly's influence has been deep and far-reaching, even outside the realm of heavy music, and that's probably because Neurosis wasn't really part of a metal scene. The band's members came up through hardcore and pushed that sound into more adventurous directions without losing any of the visceral intensity of the genre. Plus, the subject matter found on every Neurosis album was more in line with the likes of SWANS and Einsturzende Neubauten in fusing the personal with the mythical. As a solo performer, Kelly has often opted for playing acoustic guitar instead of the seething yet haunting electric style he helped to pioneer. But this doesn't exactly mean he's mellowed out. Rather, it proves Kelly can electrify with inspired simplicity, as well.
Just because a star was bred in Hollywood doesn't necessarily mean he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Just take Mickey Avalon, the unlikely king of Los Angeles's swanky clubs. He came from beginnings far beyond dubious and well into deranged, a fact he's celebrated in his music. His unique glam-punk take on hip-hop features lyrics forged of the most brutal honesty you've ever been bludgeoned with.
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