The Thirteen Best Shows in Denver This Weekend

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The Rock and Roll Marathon will prevent you from driving anywhere in downtown Denver tomorrow, with a roster of athletes stuffed with several hundred extras who couldn't run the canceled Boulder marathon a few weeks ago. Embrace it and cheer them on near one of the several stages, where bands including the Wild Feathers and Bonnie and the Beard will perform.

Elsewhere: The Pretty Reckless will play its second show at the Fillmore this year, the great Patty Griffin stops by the Oriental and plenty more. The complete list of our picks follows.

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge : 7:00 p.m. October 17

Since forming in Tulsa nearly two decades ago, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey has changed its line-up nearly as many times as the band's chameleonic approach to music has changed over the course of close to two dozen albums. While the act has delved in a multitude of styles, including rock, funk and electronica, there has always been a communal ear bent toward jazz, especially in the extended improvisations. JFJO's new album


, released this week on Royal Potato Family, is proof that the guys in band (which is back in the trio format) don't like standing in one place.

Patty Griffin Oriental Theater : 8:00 p.m. October 17

Of all the major contemporary country folk chanteuses, Patty Griffin is second only to Emmylou Harris in having negotiated the star machinery of Nashville, crossed over to rock and coffeehouse audiences, and adhered to a personal and spiritual vision. Her songs as covered by the Dixie Chicks ("Top of the World," "Let Him Fly") and Martina McBride ("Goodbye"), among other mainstream singers, may be her best-known lyrics, but if you haven't heard her rich, rising alto sing them, you don't really know them at all. Her music is faith-based but never fundamentalist, in touch with higher powers, deeper mysteries and an unwavering commitment to craft.

The Pretty Reckless Fillmore Auditorium : 7:30 p.m. October 17

Shock will always have a place in rock and roll, and that's something the Pretty Reckless relies on. But the New York band doesn't go for circus-style provocation; instead, lead singer Taylor Momsen prefers to push her agenda through end-of-the-world, fuck-everything lyrics and visually dramatic videos that hark back to a time when MTV still had an impact on music culture. Guns, religion, sex and drugs all feature heavily in the Pretty Reckless's repertoire -- singles "Make Me Wanna Die" and this year's "Going to Hell" are solid proof of the quartet's claim to shock rock. And, as is the case with most shockers, the Pretty Reckless's sound comprises confrontational yet accessible arena-rock throwbacks, replete with boot-stomping choruses made for chanting and the occasional string section layered under shreddy guitars. As an actor who eventually made music her sole mission, Momsen has proven an interesting frontwoman, a darker, bluesier singer than her Hayley Williams and Avril Lavigne alterna-radio contemporaries. If anything, the Pretty Reckless is a strong reminder of rock and roll's past, a time when heavy eyeliner meant melodrama and recording studios were experts at making guitars sound extra-glossy.

Classixx Bar Standard : October 17

The childhood friends who make up Classixx (Michael David and Tyler Blake) have an affinity for French house music. It's an unusual musical interest for two boys from Los Angeles, but the world is so much richer for their particular twist in taste: As Classixx, they take purely American sounds from a generation or so ago, like disco or funk -- or even more stripped-down genres, like punk rock -- and weave them into the precise grooves of French electro-house. On the dance floor, this translates to pure magic. The duo has been turning heads on the festival circuit, from a killer set at Ultra Music Festival in 2013 in Miami to a stint at Bonnaroo this year. Catch Classixx at Bar Standard, 1037 Broadway, for an intimate show on Friday, October 17.

Honeyhoney Larimer Lounge : October 17

The duo of honeyhoney, consisting of Suzanne Santo and Ben Jaffe, is one of those acts that, in recent years, have found themselves just on the cusp of breakthrough stardom.They made some noise in 2008 when their jaunty, edgy single "Little Toy Gun" found its way into the mainstream, if only for a bit. Furthermore, the album that featured "Little Toy Gun," First Rodeo, garnered a bit of attention due to the man who owned the label that released it: Keifer Sutherland. Like many of the better acts going these days, it's hard to pin-down where their sound belongs in the sonic spectrum. Folk, rock, country and pop all find their way into the bands sweet mélange.

Rachael Yamagata Bluebird Theater : 9:00 p.m. October 17

Rachael Yamagata released her critically acclaimed debut disc


in 2004 only to be dumped by her record label, RCA, shortly thereafter. In 2008 the singer-songwriter and pianist finally resurfaced, on Warner Bros., with the wonderfully ambitious double album

Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart

. Richly textured ballads dominate the first disc while the second CD features fierce, lean rockers unlike anything heard on


. In 2011, she released


and she's slated to release its followup early next year so expect some new material tonight.

O'Death Moe's Original BBQ & Bowl : 9:00 p.m. October 18

Everyone knows the scene from

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

: A hooded Klansman stands between two torches and chants as the armies of the night assemble: "O'Death, O'Death, won't you spare me over for another year?" The voice is Ralph Stanley, the scene pure Coen Brothers: creepy, real and absurdly theatrical. The music of O'Death, a New York hardcore twang-punk band, captures that kind of gothic drama, the menacing underside of Americana -- and then releases the sense of evil with a joyous clamor of banjos, mandolins, gypsy violins and percussive racket.

Polish Ambassador Fillmore Auditorium : 7:30 p.m. October 18

David Sugalski, a Philadelphia native with a business degree from the University of Colorado, has carved out a respectable career for himself in dance music. Better known in EDM circles as the Polish Ambassador, Sugalski is creating music that reflects his life while constantly evolving as an artist and finding new and engaging ways to connect with listeners.

Trent Cantrelle Beta : October 18

New Orleans-born, L.A.-based DJ/producer Trent Cantrelle is a bit of a chameleon. His work generally leans toward the big, peak-hour style of progressive, as heard on tracks such as his recent release "Siren Says," but he's also fully capable of going deep and dirty for a late-night set as well. Cantrelle's mixes and production incorporate influences from dance, rock and hip-hop, and his studio duties have seen him work with and remix everyone from Princess Superstar and DJ Dan to mainstream acts like Maroon 5 and Seal. Cantrelle has released music on labels such as Perfecto, Ministry of Sound and Ultra, as well as run his own imprint, Sounds Like. Subsequently, his records have found their way into the boxes and playlists of top jocks like Pete Tong and Roger Sanchez, and he's amassed quite a following with his residencies at L.A.'s Avalon and through his tours around the world.

Deicide Summit Music Hall : October 19

While many metal bands flirt with concepts and perceived aesthetics of Satanism, Deicide has championed a very anti-Christian stance. Deicide, formed in Tampa in 1987, has long been one of the pillars of death metal since releasing its self-titled 1990 debut album and even more so with its second, now classic, 1992 album Legion (named presumably after the demon Jesus cast into a herd of pigs). There is no denying the group's enduring influence on the more edgy end of death metal with the band's willingness to court controversy and its aggressive but precise songs.

Dum Dum Girls Larimer Lounge : 9:00 p.m. October 19

Going by the moniker "Dee Dee" these days, Kristin Gundred once fronted experimental pop band Grand Ole Party. After that band split in 2009, Dee Dee formed Dum Dum Girls and dispensed with the post-punk of her former band in favor of the kind of singing and songwriting that allows her to exercise a broader range of sounds and dynamics. Often compared to girl groups of the '60s, Dum Dum Girls has put together a hybrid sound that contains elements of Phil Spector-produced pop and garage rock as well as atmospheric rock music of the '80s and '90s and noise rock. If anything, this is psychedelic go-go for the modern era.

Maceo Parker Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom : 8:00 p.m. October 19

Skilled funk saxophonists have come and gone over the past five decades, but 71-year-old alto saxophonist Maceo Parker, who has played with James Brown, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and a ton of others, is pretty much the king of the genre -- though his sound is also steeped in soul and R&B. Live, Parker is the consummate showman, clearly having picked up a few things during his tenure in Brown's band in the '60s. But he doesn't just know about style and charm; he knows all about dynamics, too. He and his superb band have a funky good time any way you look at it, and that's evident on their latest effort, 2012's Soul Classics, a live disc on which Parker runs through tunes by Brown, Stevie Wonder, Isaac Hayes and Aretha Franklin.

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Denver Civic Center Park : October 19

Runners in the fifth annual Rock 'n' Roll Denver Marathon will race to a live-music soundtrack provided by more than thirty local bands as they take off from Civic Center Park and pass stages at Sloan's Lake, Confluence Park, City Park and Washington Park before heading back downtown, where Bonnie and the Beard, the Wild Feathers and the Patrick Dune Band will hold down the finish line.

"We've redesigned the marathon and half-marathon courses this year, and now with the addition of the 10K distance, we've made some changes that will really elevate the experience we're creating," says event spokesman Alan Culpepper, a 2000 and 2004 Olympian who won the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon on his way to Athens. "Our aim is to always make running accessible and fun. The welcoming atmosphere, combined with a variety of distances, means anyone can be a Rock 'n' Roll finisher."

Ready to rock but not quite ready for the full tour? This year's race features a new 10K ($60) option starting in Highland, at 29th Avenue and Zuni Street, in addition to the usual 5K ($50), as well as half-marathon ($120) and full-marathon ($135) options, which all start in Civic Center Park -- where all of the races end. Register online at runrocknroll.competitor.com/denver.


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