Now Hear This: Four Concerts You Should Know About Now

Yola is a bright new voice in country music.
Yola is a bright new voice in country music. Alysse Gafkjen
Do some good for Australian firefighters while listening to jazz, check out a new voice in country, and shake it to some pop punk this week in Denver.

Wolf Parade
Saturday, February 8, Gothic Theatre, Englewood,
Well, Pitchfork isn’t a big fan of Wolf Parade’s new record — critic Evan Rytlewski gave the just-released Thin Mind a 6.5 for being “a little obvious, which is disappointing” — but we will say that the Montreal band still packs a punch live. After all, subtlety was never the name of the game for Wolf Parade, which came out swinging in 2005 with the release of debut LP Apologies to the Queen Mary (a record whose influence is profound and audible among the likes of Car Seat Headrest and Snail Mail). Thin Mind is the band’s first record since the departure of guitarist Dante DeCaro, and thus its first as a trio. Although there’s a sense that the slimmed-down lineup is still getting used to itself, we're confident the band hasn’t lost its touch in the live setting.

Australian Wildfire Benefit Concert
Sunday, February 9, Celtic on Market,

Photos of the devastation in Australia are hard to look at: singed koalas and frantic kangaroos, firefighters dwarfed by raging infernos, the skeletal remnants of buildings caught in the blazes. While containment efforts have made some headway in recent weeks, the catastrophic effects of the bushfires are almost immeasurable. In response, Blue Roots Denver organized a benefit concert with a lineup of some of the city's finest jazz musicians, including local scenesters Roots & Rhythm, Dazzle regular the Tenia Nelson Trio, longtime Denver crooner Teresa Carroll and blues violinist Lionel Young. Funds raised will directly benefit the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and NACCHO Aboriginal Health. Don't do nothing, as they say.

Tuesday, February 11, Bluebird Theater,

It’s difficult to convince non-country fans of the value of country music because, I don’t know, Republicans listen to it or something. But I implore you to listen to Yola, a country soul crooner with a killer cover of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” a velvety voice, and, as of last year, an excellent, Dan Auerbach-produced first album. (Oh, and that’s her with the stunning feature on the Highwomen’s “Highwomen,” a collaboration that’s brilliantly sticking it to the near-impenetrable and slow-to-change Nashville establishment.) It’s wonderful music delivered with care and careful restraint. Save your hate for the bro country types instead.

Princess Dewclaw
Wednesday, February 12, Larimer Lounge,

I could come up with nice things to say about every band on this lineup: Spendtime Palace (which was just in Denver in December) makes deliciously dreamy and effortless-sounding psych rock, and the L.A.-based Paranoyds released one of the most fun, punky-pop records of 2019, Carnage Bargain. But let’s focus on the local opener, longtime Denver no-wavers Princess Dewclaw, which got its start in basements and DIY spaces around town (I personally remember seeing the band at a Boulder house party hosted by the First Base Tapes kids, and, well, it ruled). Dewclaw defines its music as “suburban pop metal,” and I’ll call it a sleazy mix of the Raincoats, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Hole. Especially on “Walk of Shame,” when frontwoman Amanda Gostomski yells, “I don’t want to be a boy or a girl/I just want to be me.” Girl, same.

Listen to Wolf Parade, Yola, Spendtime Palace, The Paranoyds and more favorites from Westword writers on our Westword Staff Picks playlist.
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Elle Carroll is a writer and photographer based in Denver. She has written for Westword since 2016.
Contact: Elle Carroll