The best concerts in Denver this week

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FRI & SAT | AIR DUBAI at HI-DIVE | 12/27-12/28 Back before Air Dubai was headlining large venues as a Warped Tour staple and had a record deal, it was another ambitious local act making its way playing smaller club shows. This week, the outfit returns to its roots with a pair of special back-to-back shows at the hi-dive with Dinosaurus Rex and Total Ghost. Definitely a run of shows not to miss.

THURS | IL CATTIVO at HI-DIVE | 12/26/13 Il Cattivo formed when veterans of the punk and metal scenes in Denver came together to form a band that wasn't trying to fit distinctly in an already established rock subgenre. The five piece band sounded like it had been influenced by post-punk crossover bands like the Cult but also the metallic, heavier end of hardcore. Catch Il Cattivo on a terrific bill that includes Warhawk, Pizza Time and Dead West.

FESTIVUS at LARIMER LOUNGE | 12/23/13 On the title track of Honky Tonk Bastard World, Casey James Prestwood offers imagery straight from the best country-and-Western tradition: The tune is all about gettin' high, fightin' with the missus and drinkin' whiskey on the weekends. The rest of the album maintains that vintage C&W charm. Anchored by top-notch lap steel guitar from John Macy, subtle harmonies from Jeremi Hanson and tight playing from the rest of the sextet, the album will delight fans of '50s- and '60s-era country music. On jaunty honky-tonk numbers like "Good Ones," Prestwood sings of love gone sour, while the title of "Out of Beer" pretty much tells that song's story, and the waltz "Mamma's Boy" lends the record some familial sentimentality. Prestwood and his crew have a solid sense of musicianship and display the kind of storytelling skills that gave old-school country its charm. Catch Prestwood and company at Larimer Lounge's Festivus with Ol Hickory, Crocodile Darlings and Bottle Rocket Science.

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