Music News

The Weekend Showdown: We Are the Dot

We would hate for you to miss out on all the awesome that happens every weekend in our fair city, so we've decided to run down five of the best shows in one easy-to-swallow post, with video and audio. Tell us -- and the rest of the world -- what we missed in the comments.

No sleep till Monday! There are so many good shows this weekend, we had to leave out half of our favorites (See: Mike Marchant CD release at the Meadowlark and our own Artopia). That still leaves room for the live debut of I am the Dot, Ian Cooke, Mehko & Ocean Birds heading a huge lineup at the Larimer Lounge, the progeny of Steve Earle and the frontman of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Damn.

1. I Am the Dot

With The Pirate Signal, Young Coyotes, American Tomahawk The Hi-Dive Friday, February 19. Doors open at 8pm.

Why you should go: Young Coyotes frontman Zach Tipton makes his live debut as I am the Dot, his very excellent side project. He shares the stage with the hardest working band in Denver, The Pirate Signal, along with his extended band and the enchanting tones of American Tomahawk. This show will be all kinds of crowd pleasing.

Listen: Young Coyotes The Pirate Signal I Am the Dot

2. Ian Cooke Band

With Laura Goldhammer & The Silver Nail, The Tanukis Larimer Lounge Friday, February 19. Show starts at 8:30pm.

Why you should go: If you've got a friend who thinks singer-songwriter is another way to describe pansy kids with acoustic instruments, this is the show to prove them wrong. Ian Cooke is taking his sharp, confident songs and going places. And Laura Goldhammer is properly righteous with her band The Silver Nail.

Listen: Ian Cooke Band Laura Goldhammer & the Silver Nail The Tanukis

3. Mehko & Ocean Birds

With Marcus Church, Dustin Reid, Bokonon, Sour Boy, Bitter Girl, Chella Negro and Petals of Spain Larimer Lounge Sunday, February 21. Show starts at 4pm.

Why you should go: A marathon of rising local talent, this show is interesting from top to bottom. Read Tom Murphy's take on Chella Negro (Hint: He's a fan). Headliners Mehko & Ocean Birds are a glorious mess of strings and sing-along and sometimes face paint. In between are some of Denver's finest orchestral pop acts. Note the early start time.

Listen: Mehko & Ocean Birds Marcus Chruch Dustin Reid Bokonon Sour Boy, Bitter Girl Chella Negro Petals of Spain

4. Justin Townes Earle

With Joe Pug Bluebird Theater Friday, February 19. Show starts at 9pm. $13.25-$15.00

Why you should go: Justin may have a very famous dad, but he's turned out to be a musical force in his own right. In this week's Backbeat feature, Andy Thomas traces the man's rocky road to the present, and explains the power of his rock and roll roots. Earle is the real thing.

Listen: Justin Townes Earle Joe Pug

5. Alec Ounsworth (of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah)

With I Sank Molly Brown, Bad Weather California Larimer Lounge Saturday, February 20. Show starts at 8:30pm.

Why you should go: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have endured a strange relationship with the world of music blogs, alternately embraced and dismissed. Ounsworth, the band's frontman, may find the lonely road a bit easier -- his solo debut is an impressive album, according to Jason Heller. The bill is rounded out by a pair of Denver's most exciting rock acts.

Listen: Alec Ounsworth I Sank Molly Brown Bad Weather California

Also, be sure to check out additional show previews from this week's print edition. Nick Oliveri Jamie Jones & Damian Lazarus

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Kiernan Maletsky is Westword's music editor. His writing has appeared in alt-weeklies around the country as well as Miley Cyrus's mom's Twitter feed.
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky