Weekend's best live bets: Big Gigantic, Jedi Mind Tricks and more
Another stacked bill on tap this weekend in the Mile High City with back-to-back dates featuring Big Gigantic at the Boulder Theater tonight and the Ogden Theatre tomorrow, Brad Paisley at the Pepsi Center with the Band Perry, along with several shows from Jedi Mind Tricks, Split Lip Rayfield and Toubab Krewe, all at the Bluebird Theater, Garland Jeffreys at the Lion's Lair, as well as a couple of CD release parties from Lola Black and Forests of Azure and a pair of quality local shows featuring Carbon Choir, Mercuria and the Gem Stars. Page down to get the full rundown on this weekend's best live bets.
Catch Big Gigantic tonight at the Boulder Theater and tomorrow night at the Ogden Theatre.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 20
Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken are Big Gigantic, the sweeping Boulder-based duo taking the electronic world by storm. Born from Lalli's own creative and abstract mind, the act came about after years of formal music training in New York, playing with the Motet and utilizing MySpace to spread beats far and wide. Big Gigtantic, it turns out, is both a perfectly fitting moniker for this act and its burgeoning popularity. Last spring, mere minutes after the act posted a new track for free download on ThisSongIsSick.com, the site's server crashed due to the demand. More recently, the group made its new album, Nocturnal, available for complimentary download on its website. Despite the fact that the songs could be had for free, astoundingly, the album somehow managed to climb as high as number two on the iTunes electronic chart within days of being made available. (Read the full profile on the group in this week's paper.)
For the last fifteen years, Jedi Mind Tricks have to be some of the hardest-working cats in indie/underground hip-hop. Now with seven albums under under their belt, the members of Jedi Mind Tricks are also the brains behind lauded projects from Outerspace and Army of the Pharaohs and had a hand in producing albums from Canibus and 7L & Esoteric. Jedi has always been politically charged with a gangsta's edge where the trio sets its sights on everything from the government and religion to the current state of hip-hop and even their own childhoods.
The members of Lola Black don't consider themselves a supergroup. It's easy, however, to argue that the band boasts the credentials for such a designation. The sextet's resumé includes stints in groups like Blister 66, Snapstick Dynomite and the Eight Bucks Experiment, each of which made its own waves in Denver's punk and hardcore scenes. But the players in Lola Black insist that they weren't banking on past successes when they got together a little over a year ago. (Read the full Westword profile)
With the 2009 release of High Beams, Carbon Choir capitalized on its promise with a set of introspective, heartfelt songs rimmed with layers of impressionistic, melodic flickers of sound. Even when Joel Van Horne's vocals soar over the top of the instrumentation, his command of tone and the power of his emotional resonance have always been compelling. But this band doesn't weave together abstract music performed with a sense of detachment. A Carbon Choir show is a visceral experience, precisely because these guys play their music not like they're trying to get you to remember some experience of a long time ago, but to get you to experience something new, right here and now.
If you've been to the right places over the past couple of years, chances are you've caught Maria Kohler playing solo or as a collaborator in whatever projects Mike Marchant has been involved with at any given time. And if you heard her, you know that Kohler's soulful voice and presence ineffably enriched the music. With Mercuria and the Gem Stars, Kohler has teamed up with a group of people who somehow combine countrified melodies with a spacious psychedelia and captivating pop overtones in a way that seems refreshingly original. Sure, there's a hint of Mazzy Star in the mix, as well as the more bubbly end of Throwing Muses, but the delicate and unexpectedly feisty emotional power of this band transcends easy comparisons.