The eight best concerts in Denver this week

There's plenty to keep you busy this week. James Taylor brings his musical featherbed to Red Rocks for a couple nights, and Nas and Flying Lotus will headline Feed the Rocks right after that.

The outdoor activities continue with the kickoff of both Sonic Bloom and Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Note that this roundup doesn't include weekend shows, so despite the fact that both festivals do run into Friday and Saturday, we're telling you about them now because they start before then. Wouldn't want you to think we were forgetting anything...

World Party The Soiled Dove Underground : 8:00 p.m. June 16 After leaving the Waterboys nearly three decades ago, Karl Wallinger started World Party. The act found some early notoriety with its 1987 debut, Private Revolution, partly fueled by the success of its title track and "Ship of Fools." Since then, Wallinger and company have released four other studio discs as well as 2012's Arkeology, rare studio cuts, live sessions, concert recordings, radio interviews, covers, demos and B-sides.

Andrew Bird & The Hands of Glory Chautauqua Community House : 7:30 p.m. June 19 Andrew Bird was one of the earlier pioneers of modern chamber pop. Growing up in Chicago, Bird -- a classical violinist in training at age four -- worked with alterna-swing band Squirrel Nut Zippers before firmly establishing a name for himself as a songwriter far beyond the Windy City with the release of his 1997 album Thrills. Since then, Bird has slowly but steadily explored various musical styles and eras, adopting ideas and creating a body of work that's had a clear impact on anyone who makes pop music that fuses classical instruments and older musical styles with a modern sensibility.

Maxwell The Paramount Theatre : 8:00 p.m. June 18 The success of Maxwell's "Pretty Wings" and the rest of his 2009 comeback, BLACKsummers'night, was refreshing in that modern R&B is short on the subtlety that defined the genre in the '90s. At that time, Maxwell established himself among neo-soul's meticulous craftsmen, working with collaborators of Marvin Gaye and Sade to realize high-thread-count arrangements that functioned like ambient music on his 1996 debut, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite. He grew increasingly lively over his next two, 1998's Embrya and 2001's Now. Either way, his voice, a friendly-not-flashy croon, has always been at the fore. Now 41 and a perennial favorite of the Grammy committee, Maxwell has tamed his hair, but the poise hasn't diminished.

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