SP DOUBLE @ THE GOTHIC THEATRE
See Also: SP Double has come a long way, and it shows
SP Double (aka Adrian Perlman) has endured his share of personal travails. Loyalty Honor Respect, his long-awaited new album, is the unfiltered story of his life. Executive-produced by Grammy-winning producer/mentor Focus, the album features SP Double's finest work to date, and finds the MC shining with lyrics that are incisive, confrontational, confessional, heartfelt and, above all, memorable, over beats that absolutely bang. Such luminaries as Royce da 5'9, Joe Budden, Chino XL, Big Pooh, Crooked I, C.Ray and Statik Selektah are featured -- but even among those impressive guests, it's clear that the MC is at the top of his game. His distinctive internal rhyming-scheme style, influenced by MCs like Kool G Rap, is sharper than ever. (This all-local bill also includes Mr. Midas, Morning Star and Dope City.)
BRANDI CARLILE @ RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE
After recording two well-received records with the biggest producers in the business, Rick Rubin and T-Bone Burnett, Brandi Carlile turned to a knob-twiddler with decidedly fewer bonafides on the other side of the board: herself. The result, Bear Creek, is the best album of the singer's career. Carlile's voice is more self-assured than it's been in the past, and the songwriting -- highlights include "A Promise to Keep" and the Dixie Chicks-esque "Hard Way Home" -- is as compelling as it's ever been, straddling the strong side of the adult/country line.
ALICE BAG (OF THE BAGS) @ WAX TRAX RECORDS
While punk's ethos and aesthetic left a culture-shifting legacy, the women of this global music scene have often been left out of the historical picture. Punk pioneer, feminist and Chicana activist Alice Bag began telling her part of that story with the release of last year's autobiography, Violence Girl; she'll stop by Wax Trax Records, 638 East 13th Avenue, at 3 p.m. today as part of her self-booked tour across the U.S. Growing up in a Spanish-speaking household in east Los Angeles in the late '60s, Bag endured discrimination by English-only teachers, an experience that helped fuel her work as the explosive frontwoman of '70s Hollywood proto-punks the Bags. "In the general sense, the Latino community could be overlooked as part of the West Coast punk rock movement -- but Alice is an archivist," says Wax Trax's Dave Wilkinson. Bag will be at Wax Trax to read from her book, sign autographs, answer audience questions and, Wilkinson hopes, play some music from her decades-long career (which she's done on previous stops).
THE BABYSITTERS @ THE WALNUT ROOM
If you never saw Greg Hill's previous band, Six Months to Live, that wouldn't be surprising, because not nearly enough people did. Hill is a gifted songwriter with a genius for power pop; he's also a character, something that's in short supply in Denver (think a cross between Don DeLillo and Lester Bangs). The Babysitters (due this Saturday, July 14, at the Walnut Room) aren't as bombastic as Six Months to Live, but it's still Greg Hill, and his caustic and startlingly clever humor is on full display. For this show, the trio of Hill, Maureen Hearty and bassist Eric Allen (of Apples in Stereo fame) are putting out an album called Have a Seat. If you go, ask Hill why he cut off the Broncos song.
VICTOR WOOTEN BAND @ CERVANTES' MASTERPIECE BALLROOM
Electric bassist Victor Wooten seems to suffer from attention deficit disorder, or so you'd think as you watch him juggling basses, snatching from a gleaming row of four-strings as the moment strikes him. His sound runs the gamut from jazz and bluegrass to rock and funk to classical and rap. Having played since he was three, Wooten is a master of the flying fingerwork that produces guitar-like solos, a technique that has garnered five Grammy awards and multiple Bass Player of the Year accolades for him.
DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND @ BLUEBIRD THEATER
From a New Orleans tradition as old as the bordellos of Storyville, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band continues to reinvent Dixieland jazz with ace musicianship, dynamic interplay and horns aplenty: two trumpets, two saxophones and a sousaphone that fattens the bottom end like a wedge of mud pie. Rounding out the fabled "second-line sound" with a drummer and a guitarist, the Crescent City's most relentless touring act has been serving up the jazz, funk and soul for thirty five years.
Jason Horodyski got a bit of a step up early on, playing shows with Ian Cooke and Emily Frembgen. From the onset, his literary approach to songwriting shone through, and the subtly resonant clarity of his songs spoke to a spare style that gave the melodies and textures space to communicate to listeners -- and between performers -- in a deep but gentle manner. Over the last handful of years, Horodyski has worked with talented collaborators including former Des Tours bassist Adan Hernandez, genius multi-instrumentalist and singer Robin Walker of Cougar Pants and Chris Bullock, who gave the Nicotine Fits soul with his keyboard work. All three contributed to the latest Maudlin Magpie release, the poignantly evocative Two Maple Keys.
Check out our newly revamped concert calendar for a complete listing of all of tonight's shows. Page down for rundown of tomorrow night's best bets.