Weekend's best live music: Mini Fest, Rubedo, Congress, Chingaso, Boombox and more

Welcome to another outstanding music-filled weekend in the Mile High City! Local music abounds: We've got a trio of CD release shows from Rubedo, the Congress and Chingaso, a three day Mini Fest with forty bands at 3 Kings Tavern and the hi-dive. If that weren't enough, BoomBox is back in town for a show at the Ogden, Game 7 is playing two nights at Quixotes and much more. Page down for a full rundown of the weekend's best live music bets.



See Also: As fate would have it, Rubedo has a new album

"I remember at Tiny Telephone we ordered Chinese and my fortune cookie said, 'If you don't do it excellently, then don't do it at all,'" muses singer Kyle Gray about recording Rubedo's debut full-length, Massa Confusa, in San Francisco. "And Ikey just started laughing hysterically." The Ikey in question is Isaiah Owens, the genius keyboard player and producer who used to play in the Mars Volta, one of Rubedo's main musical inspirations. The fact that the band got to record with Owens feels like kismet, one more link in a chain of fortunate happenstances that has been at the heart of the band's history since Gray met drummer Gregg Ziemba while both were attending Traylor Elementary School in Denver. (Continue reading)

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MINI FEST @ HI DIVE This weekend, Denver Fest's Emily Francis has booked close to forty bands to play at Mini Fest over the Cinco de Mayo weekend at the hi-dive and 3 Kings Tavern. It kicks off on tonight with Dead Ringer, the Sound Collapse, Red Stinger and False Colours at 3 Kings, and Achille Lauro, the Knew, Pena, Panal SA de CV and the Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill at the hi-dive. On Saturday and Sunday the lineup at both clubs includes Glass Hits, Il Cattivo, Scooter James, Tin Horn Prayer, Landlines, Chad Price, Lizzie Huffman, Munly & the Lupercalians, Bad Luck City, Native Daughters and Black Sleep of Kali. All shows are $5 each, and there are no pre-sales. Doors open at 8 p.m. on Friday and Sunday, and at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

THE CONGRESS (CD RELEASE) @ BLUEBIRD THEATER On the Congress's self-titled debut EP, the act drew on music of all sorts of styles and the result was a sound that was expressive and confident, subtle in parts and brazen in others. With the act's debut long-player, Whatever You Want, the outfit comes through with twice the swagger and sounds even more rocking and refined as it mixes in elements of guitar-heavy Southern rock infused with vibrant vocals and a heaping helping of soul.


See Also: Q&A with Shooter Jennings

It's a bit ironic that Shooter Jennings, the son of country singers Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, would make what he calls his Òmost country record to dateÓ in New York. But that's essentially what happened. Shortly after moving to New York from Los Angeles, Jennings started writing songs in the Big Apple and recorded tracks in SoHo for what would become Family Man, released last March on Entertainment One. While the album marks the first time Jennings took the creative process entirely into his own hands -- he produced the album -- he also surrounded himself with a new band, the Triple Crown, which includes old friend and well-respected jazz keyboardist Erik Deutsch. Jennings has done his share of hell-raising in the past, and while Family Man finds him in a more heartfelt role, he wasn't afraid to include rockers, too.

GAME 7 @ QUIOXTES TRUE BLUE A dynamic band like Game 7 only comes together when the stars align. Aron Magner of Disco Biscuits, Micheal Kang of String Cheese Incident, Darren Pujalet and Eric Gould of Particle and Pete Wall of Textiles only have so much time on their hands due to touring and other obvious symptoms of being a rock star. With incredible soloist in all five positions, they can drag out sections for extended periods of time, thus, some serious improvisation will shine through. Their individual styles come together to make a cohesive element, and their song section will have you dancing for days, literally. (Game 7 plays tonight at tomorrow night at Quixotes.)

KENNY GARRETT QUARTET @ THE SOILED DOVE UNDERGROUND By the time Kenny Garrett was eighteen, his alto-sax chops were already good enough to earn him a spot in the Duke Ellington Orchestra, which was then led by Ellington's son, Mercer. Nearly a decade later, Garrett recorded with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Art Blakey and Donald Byrd, and performed with other jazz luminaries, including Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner and Pat Metheny. He's worked with Pharoah Sanders, who also appeared on his fourteenth album, 2006's Beyond the Wall, as a leader. The two saxophonists joined forces again on Garrett's 2008 live Miles Davis album, Sketches of MD. His latest effort, the brand new Seeds From The Underground, includes all original songs that are homages to people who inspired and influenced him.

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.


BOOMBOX @ OGDEN THEATRE The last few years have been a renaissance of sorts for electronic musicians. Once confined to the underground warehouse rave scene of the '90's, modern dance music has grown infinitely more sophisticated, stylistically, into the brave new frontier of performers who expertly mate digitally enhanced beats with traditional drums, bass and guitar. At the forefront of these modern hybrid of electronic dance rock bands is Boombox, featuring multi-instrumentalist and singer Zion Godchaux and fellow bandmate DJ Russ Randolph on sequencers, groove boxes and turn-tables. Although there is jamband DNA flowing through the veins of Zion Godchaux, son of Grateful Dead alumni singer Donna Jean Godchaux, don't mistake Boombox for a jamband. If anything, there is a strong digital dance vibe to the music than the guitar noodling Godchaux's namesake might suggest.

CHINGASO (CD RELEASE) @ BENDER'S TAVERN "Chingaso" could mean a couple of things: a heavy blow that comes from life or from an enemy, or a dismissive insult related to being the embodiment of a big phallus. Whatever the case, the name fits this band, whose image is definitely full of attitude and whose sound fits all of those meanings. With bandmembers named "Chancho," "the Dutch" and "Stephanie Bastard," maybe Chingaso (due Saturday, May 5, at Bender's Tavern) is going for that later-era-Suicidal Tendencies vatos locos mythology. But its music is born of the sludgy pool of stoner rock and psychedelic metal that came through Denver like a wave ten years ago and fortunately evolved into something with more teeth. The result? A band that isn't short on bite.

Also tonight: Mini-Fest continues tonight at 3 Kings and the hi-dive, and Game 7 plays second night at Quixotes.

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.


KATIE GLASSMAN @ LANNIE'S CLOCKTOWER CABARET Given her background in Western swing, gypsy and vintage jazz and bluegrass, it's not surprising that all of those styles surface on Katie Glassman's sixteen-track long-player, Snapshot. While Glassman is clearly an able singer, her fiddle playing is exceptional -- which also makes sense, considering that she started playing when she was nine and has won a number of national fiddle competitions. While her gifted playing is featured prominently throughout the album, especially on cuts like the gypsy jazz waltz of "Ma Liason Avec La France" and on the '40s-inspired jazz of the title track, Glassman also tapped a number of local musicians such as keyboardist Eric Moon, bassist Eric Thorin and trumpeter Gabe Mervine to flesh out the arrangements.

TIERNEY SUTTON BAND @ DAZZLE RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE Always a jazzbird with an infectious chirp, the singer has spent the past few years honing her audience-communication talents, which is not something every jazz proponent gives much attention.

Also tonight: Final night of Mini-Fest at 3 Kings and the hi-dive.

Check out our newly revamped concert calendar for a complete listing of all of tonight's shows.

Complied by Nick Callaio

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