Concerts

The Twelve Best Concerts in Denver This Weekend

Another solid weekend of shows in Denver, with some rockabilly at the Skylark, some jazz at Dazzle and some beats at Red Rocks. We particularly recommend twelve shows this weekend: Here they are.

The Disco Biscuits Ogden Theatre : 3:00 p.m. September 12; 3:00 p.m. September 13; 3:00 p.m. September 14 Jamtronica pioneers the Disco Biscuits build interesting set lists: They invert portions of jams into each other, surprising audience members again and again while shining a mega-ton of lasers in their faces for an overstimulation extravaganza. The Biscuits will take over the Ogden for three nights.

The Heavy Hitters Casselman's Bar & Venue : September 12 Spoke in Wordz cemented his place in the Denver hip-hop scene long ago, and over the last year, he's established himself in the battle-rap scene as well. Now he's bringing representatives of three of the world's biggest battle-rap leagues to compete in Denver. Artists from Canada's King of the Dot, New York's Ultimate Rap League, and Total Slaughter, which was founded by Eminem, will take on Colorado's best battle rappers. Cortez, of Total Slaughter, will battle Spoke in Wordz in the headlining event on Friday at Casselman's, which will also feature such big names as Lotta Zay and Monkey Man. The two-day event, hosted by the 17th and KS 107.5's DJ Chonz, will start with an undercard at Primos Sports Bar in Aurora, where battlers from Utah, Arizona and other states will square off. It all adds up to arguably the biggest battle-rap event in Colorado's history.

She Keeps Bees Marquis Theater : September 12 The raw, stripped-down simplicity of the duo She Keeps Bees confirms the notion that big things can come in small packages. Relying on little more than drums, gritty minor-chord guitar, and the sultry-to-warbling vocals of Jessica Larrabee, She Keeps Bees is brooding, dark, mysterious, and perfectly chaotic. Shifting from quiet, hushed passages to thrashing outbursts, Larrabee's guitar-playing is full of churning emotion, a perfect foil to her lush vocals and introspective lyrics. Behind her, Andy LaPlant adds the perfect percussive touch, opting for a minimalist approach that allows Larrabee her release.

Zammuto Lost Lake Lounge : September 12 Zammuto is a project from Nick Zammuto, who was one half of the experimental electronic band the Books. But as with his old band, Zammuto blends organic sounds with the purely electronic in a seamless whole. The group's recently released, self-titled, debut full-length sounds like it could be folk music made by robots in the first flush of full-consciousness. The subject matter of the album may be, in part, an exorcism of Zammuto's experience of the breakup of his old band, but there is that playfulness and rhythmic inventiveness that has always made Zammuto's musical contributions so inexplicably compelling. Zammuto's second disc, Anchor, was released earlier this month.

Cloud Cult eTown Hall : 7:00 p.m. September 12; Bluebird Theater : 8:00 p.m. September 13 The music of Cloud Cult is big, exuberant and packed full of sounds, ideas and influences. With themes as weighty as environmental degradation and as intimate as familial relations, no subject is too big or too small for this cult. At the heart of its songs lies the catchy, if at times overly cute, songwriting of Minnesota's Craig Minowa. Elements of chamber pop, hip-hop, electronic music and old-fashioned rock surround this beating core, where they're blended with a skillful touch into bombastic blasts of joyous pop. Then, cleverly omnivorous arrangements and production turn Minowa's pleasant pop nuggets into deep, intricate and sophisticated songs. The act is still relatively obscure, but it's drawn accolades and favorable comparisons to big-name acts including Radiohead and the Flaming Lips. If the outfit can turn that critical cachet into an equivalent fan base, it could easily be the next breakthrough indie-rock act.

Flux Pavilion Red Rocks Amphitheatre : 7:00 p.m. September 12 Where Flux Pavilion goes, foundations are sure to rumble. He's toured the world bringing his massive dubstep sound to all corners of the Earth. "Bass Cannon" is a song, but it's also an apt description for what speakers become once he plugs in. Need a cosign in the form of two of the biggest rappers in the game? Fine- check out "Who Gon Stop Me" from Kanye and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne record, which samples Flux Pavilion's "I Can't Stop." Yeah, that massive bass sound came from the English producer and no, you can't stop him.

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