There's nothing like experiencing the sweat, thump and catharsis of a great show. Trouble is, you live in Denver, the land of embarrassing riches when it comes to music, the land of too many shows and too little time. So which ones are worth checking out? Glad you asked. After the jump, we've compiled a list of the best shows this weekend in one easy-to-swallow post, with video and audio.
Most weekends in this fine city pack some punch, but this one in particular is guaranteed to knock you out -- so much so that we had to expand from our usual five on the list to nine (the tenth slot is open to your suggestions in the comments section below). Pow! Bap! Appearances from MGMT and Brian Jonestown Massacre, CD Releases from Bop Skizzum and John Common and the Blinding Flashes of Light and so much more. Get the full rundown after the jump.
01. HI-DIVE HULLABALOO With Wheels on Fire, The Buckingham Squares, The Vicious Women, Dan Kaufman Superstar Eruption, The Velveteen Loveseat, The Conjugal Visits, and The Bloody Fives Hi-Dive Friday, June 11, doors at 5 p.m. $10
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: The hi-dive apparently does not mess around when it fires up a hullabaloo. Opening with the low-fi surf-punk of the Bloody Fives (not to be confused with Toronto's Bloody Five), moving along to the sludge psychedelia of Dan Kaufman Superstar Eruption (who's stage show is as weird as its name) and topping off with the dance-y, feel-good garage rock of Ohio's Wheels on Fire, this hullabaloo may confuse you, but you won't be disenfranchised.
02. MGMT With Tame Impala and Janelle Monae Red Rocks Friday, June 11, 7:30 p.m. $50 (varies)
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: When the single "Kids" from Oracular Spectacular dropped onto the turntable of every hipster DJ everywhere, it cemented the duo that makes up MGMT as kings of dance-pop. On Congratulations, the new record, the band takes the sound in a direction that's both more psychedelic and more rock and roll than previous efforts, but the danceable hooks are still there, and their force is no less foot-moving.
03. ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL With (headliners) Kill the Noise, Benny Benassi, ATB, AC Slater, Craze, Yoji, Original Sin, 12th Planet, Shimon, Caspa, and Dirty Phonics--and more Arapahoe County Fairgrounds Saturday, June 12, 6 p.m. $55
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WHY YOU SHOULD GO: It's not a throwback, as the name suggests. From the big club beats of AC Slater to the thumping hard-house of Kill the Noise to appearances from acts both large and small too numerous to list here, Electric Daisy Carnival is playing host to some of the hottest practitioners of electronic music around. And as the name suggests, it will blow your mind. Expect carnival rides (free), "sexy" clowns, and -- yes -- a puppet show.
04. JOHN COMMON AND THE BLINDING FLASHES OF LIGHT CD RELEASE PARTY With Ian Cooke and Churchill Fox Theater Saturday, June 12, 8 p.m. $13 advanced
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: John Common has been writing some of the best songs in town for some years now, but on his latest effort, Beautiful Empty, well, dude's stepping it up. Where previous efforts have been heavily centered on Common's guitar and piano work, the new tunes are more meticulously arranged: With orchestration, Beck-style beeps and boops and gorgeous harmonies, the new stuff is some of the best stuff yet.
05. BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE With Floorian Bluebird Theater Sunday, June 13, 8 p.m. $28 (varies)
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Since 1990, Brian Jonestown Massacre has been accompanying heavy pot-smoking and deep introspection -- which is no surprise, since the group lists its primary influence as "ACID." The droning tempos, ethereal guitar work, and swirling atmosphere is trippy enough on the recordings. Live, it will pretty much pop your mind grapes.
LISTEN Brian Jonestown Massacre
06. KS 107.5 SUMMER JAM With Ludacris, Fabolous, Trey Songz, The Dream, Lil Jon, The New Boyz, Jay Sean, and Taio Cruz Comfort Dental Amphitheatre Friday, June 11, 5:30 p.m. $55
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Just the names Ludacris and Fabolous (interestingly, similar adjectives altered in different ways) alone should be enough to sell this bill. Add six other radio-dominating performers coming from everywhere from Great Britain to the dirty South, and it totals up to seriously, uh, ludicrous.
07. BOP SKIZZUM EP RELEASE PARTY With Aloft in the Sundry, Ivory Drive Gothic Theatre Friday, June 11, doors 7 p.m. $7.50
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: It's hard to classify Bop Skizzum -- two parts R&B, four parts funk, one part James Brown horn arrangements, and three parts crunching rock guitars is roughly the recipe. Call it party music. One thing's sure, though: The new record sounds fantastic, and at the release party, you will dance. If you don't, you either have two broken legs or one broken soul.
LISTEN Bop Skizzum
08. DROP CITY With The Outfit, FaceMan Bluebird Theater Friday, June 11, 9 p.m. $10
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Since its early days under the moniker Schwerver, Drop City has evolved from a dance band to, well, an even dancier band. Drop City plays a trendy form of rock and roll, sure, but the band does it well--very well. Check out the cowbells on "Leave This Place" -- you will have a fever, and the only prescription will be more of it. Added incentive: This is the band's final show.
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LISTEN Drop City
09. ATHLETE With Carney and the Rescues Bluebird Theater Saturday, June 12, Doors 8 p.m. $10-$12
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Bringing some of the most reverb-drenched epic ballad-pop since Band of Horses, Athlete will take the heart you wear on your sleeve and caress it until you cry real tears--even the single, "Superhuman Touch," off their latest, Black Swan, experiments some with '80s electro-pop, but at its core it's still a soulful heartbreaker. Where have all the ballads gone? They're right here, my friend, at the Bluebird on Saturday.