New week, whole new batch of shows. We start off the week with an absolute bang -- Sleigh Bells tonight at the Boulder Theater -- and end it with lauded locals Big Head Todd and the Monsters playing a super intimate show at the Soiled Dove Underground to raise money to give emergency aid to those battling cancer. Keep reading for a full rundown on the week's five best concerts.
5. THE WALLFLOWERS @ OGDEN THEATRE | WED, 10/24/12 As daunting as it must be to be the son of Bob Dylan, Jakob Dylan has done a pretty admirable job of carving out his own niche. While he'll never be able to truly step out of his dad's shadow, he's had a margin of success on his own, success he would've realized whatever his surname happened to be. And that's laudable, considering that even if he didn't make mention of his heritage, the comparisons would be inevitable: The spittin' image of his old man, the younger Dylan has a similar delivery as his pops. Unlike his father's, though, his voice isn't much of an acquired taste and takes far less time to appreciate. Conversely, his songs, while notably more accessible, are no where near as timeless and affecting.
4. SLEIGH BELLS @ BOULDER THEATER | MON, 10/22/12 Combining the former guitar player from hardcore band Poison the Well with a former Nickelodeon star, Sleigh Bells is the most aggressive, poptastic, ear-drum-splitting glamour-thrash band around. On its debut, Treats, released on M.I.A.'s N.E.E.T. Records, Sleigh Bells offered up songs like "Rill Rill" and "Tell Em" that managed to rock the cranium while melting the heart. This February saw the band's Saturday Night Live debut, perfectly timed with the release of the album Reign of Terror, and the act killed the audience with its hopelessly infectious "Comeback Kid." If you've somehow managed to miss out on the wonder that is Sleigh Bells, take a moment out of your lunch break to view the video for that song. We guarantee that when it ends, you'll be asking yourself if you have time to watch it again.
3. FREELANCE WHALES @ BLUEBIRD THEATER | WEDS, 10/24/12 New York's Freelance Whales is another big, bustling band that collects instruments like kids used to collect Pokémon cards, then deploys them in ebullient arrangements of soaring indie pop. Before the group unleashed its 2009 debut, Weathervanes, on the world, it tuned up by busking at subway stations, making for a backstory almost as cutesy as the music. That's not to say it's bad -- just that you'll need a bit of a sweet tooth and a longing for banjo, synthesizer and featherlight vocals to really enjoy it. The Whales' new album, Diluvia, picks up where Weathervanes left off, with a weird concept about ancient aliens thrown in for fun. If that sounds like a little slice of heaven, this band will help you achieve a state of perma-grinned bliss. If it sounds a little too twee to take seriously...well, who ever said indie pop was serious business?
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2. WAKA FLOCKA FLAME @ OGDEN THEATRE | THU, 10/25/12 With his large frame, booming voice and heavy-looking chain, there's nothing small about Waka Flocka Flame. But despite this, his ultra-aggressive lyrics and tattoos that absolutely blanket his body, Flocka is a surprisingly genuine and good humored individual; he'd have to be, with a name like his. The "Waka" part was given to him by a cousin after Fozzie Bear, Jim Henson's wannabe comedian Muppet, and also the figure that hangs ostentatiously around his neck. "Flocka Flame" comes from his mentor and former squad-mate, Gucci Mane. Like Gucci, Flocka's music is somewhat mindless, but like Gucci's, it works, especially in a party context. Flocka released his debut album, Flockaveli, in 2010 to general acclaim, praised for its infectious energy and undeniable power. His second album, Triple F Life: Fans, Friends & Family, was released last June. Flocka's isn't lyrical, so if you listen too closely, you may be disappointed, but as long as the rapper keeps the fire in his belly, he should stay smoking hot.
1. BIG HEAD TODD @ SOILED DOVE UNDERGROUND | FRI, 10/26/12 Big Head Todd and the Monsters already devote a good deal of time and energy to charity-related events and organizations. But when the outfit plays an intimate show at the Soiled Dove Underground this Friday, October 26, it will be for a cause that hits close to home. Very. Keyboardist Jeremy Lawton has a brother who sits on the board of the organization that will benefit from the show, the Raymond Wentz Foundation. The mission of that group is to help give emergency aid to cancer patients -- and as it happens, one of the band's members is a recovering cancer patient. A little more than three years ago, the band's drummer, Brian Nevin, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer after a routine physical in which a doctor discovered a lump in his neck. (Continue reading)