The best punk shows in Denver in January

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FRI & SAT | JOHN DOE at LION'S LAIR | 1/17-1/18 John Doe started the band X in 1977 with Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom and DJ Bonebrake and wrote some of the most vivid portraits of American life in the annals of punk rock. Combining country and punk, X couldn't be said to be in the traditional punk mold while also being directly influenced by The Ramones. As a solo artist, John Doe has written music in a more singer-songwriter vein but with the same ability to highlight the poetic aspects of the dark edges of culture and a hopeful romanticism that doesn't wax into the naïve or melodramatic. In 2011, he wrote an excellent collaborative album with former Colorado-based singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, A Day At The Pass, as well as his latest record, Keeper.

FRI | THE GEDS at LION'S LAIR | 1/10/14 The GEDS started in the mid-'90s with former members of Twice Wilted, '57 Lesbian and Spell. Fusing the fuzzed-out punk of late-'80s Seattle bands like Mudhoney and Tad with garage-rock songwriting sensibilities, the GEDS, comprising bassist/vocalist Chanin Floyd and guitarist Tim Beckman, were a fixture of undeground rock in Denver for close to a decade before essentially going on hiatus for a handful of years. Although having only put out sporadic recordings over the years on various compilations, including the first Radio 1190 Local Shakedown release and Mike Jourgensen's Noise Tent samplers, the GEDS wrote powerful, memorable songs. Apparently the group is set to release an actual album in the near future.

FRI | FINAL BLOW at THE MARQUIS | 1/10/14 Founded in 2008 by vocalist Vino, Final Blow has experienced some line-up changes over the last few years, but the one thing that hasn't changes is its love for late-'80s New York hardcore. The aggression and menace of bands like Sick Of It All, Madball and Agnostic Front can be heard in the underlying spirit of Final Blow's music. And it's not just a defiant and macho persona -- after all, Cassie Begay formerly of Throat Culture once played in this group -- Final Blow's ethos is one of brotherhood and a disdain for the bastards that grind everyone down. For this show, Final Blow is releasing its latest album.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.