Weekend's best live bets: Ryan Adams, Lotus and more
David Black Catch Ryan Adams tonight at the Temple Buell.
Update: The Ryan Adams show originally slated for tonight the Temple Buell has been postponed until tomorrow night. The Dr. Dog show has also been postponed, but a new date has not been announced.
What's a little snow? Blizzard schmizzard. There's too much great music this weekend to stay at home. There's Ryan Adams at the Temple Buell, Lotus at the Fillmore (with Denver's own Octopus Nebula opening up), Cass McCombs at the hi-dive, Dr. Dog at the Boulder Theater, Lemonheads playing It's a Shame About Ray in its entirety at the Fox, Busdriver at the Marquis, plus tons of local goodness, including release shows from Le Divorce and Negative Degree, FaceMan's Waltz at the Bluebird, Hearts in Space at the Walnut Room and more. Page down for the complete rundown.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3
RYAN ADAMS @ TEMPLE HOYNE BUELLl THEATER
If you ignore the fact that any of his sadder, sappier new material could be about his wife, a post-Walk to Remember Mandy Moore, Ryan Adams remains one of the most listenable and versatile singer-songwriters just this side of Americana. Three years ago, he married Moore, sobered up, disbanded his alt-country band the Cardinals, took a break from touring and began stockpiling all of his previously unreleased material. Through his October solo album, Ashes & Fire, we're led to believe that Adams escaped this period unscathed and unfazed, a little raw for the wear but with a deeper, clearer and more intimate shade of voice and self-awareness than we've seen from him in years. In making himself more vulnerable, Adams has made his second act unmissable.
FACEMAN'S WALTZ @ BLUEBIRD THEATER
FaceMan is celebrating the release of its new album, Feeding Time, with a full slate of guests, including members of Achille Lauro, the Knew, Flobots, Boulder Acoustic Society, Hindershot, Wheelchair Sports Camp and more. Feeding Time, the outfit's second full-length, was recorded at Uneven Studios by Bryan Feuchtinger and Evan Reeves at UI Sound in Boulder and then mixed and masterered by Orbit Service's Randall Fraizer at the Helmet Room.
CASS MCCOMBS @ HI-DIVE
In 2007, singer-songwriter Cass McCombs told the San Francisco Chronicle that he wants his tombstone to read "Home at Last." McCombs's subtle and sardonic humor, enmeshed with a poetic truth, also informs his songwriting. Although he doesn't really sound like Roy Orbison, his lushly evocative tunes resonate with the same kind of dusky, yesteryear charm as the late singer's. Like a wave of nostalgia that makes you remember the most poignant moments of your life one by one, they're both heartbreaking and heartwarming. But there's also a haziness that makes such memories seem more present yet soft around the edges at the same time. Touring in support of his most recent 2011 release, Humor Risk, McCombs is sure to bring his understated wit and penetrating observations to vibrant life on stage.
DR. DOG @ THE BOULDER THEATER
Dr. Dog has been compared to hipster faves like Pavement and Guided by Voices (which does no justice to the Dog's genuinely adorable '70s AM soul), but the late Rick Danko himself would've loved Philadelphia's current indie darlings: lo-fi keyboards, bass and thick drums make a bed for sentimental, earnest "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" guitar-led melodies and quirky vocals that recall the most playful moments of Dylan's legendary Basement Tapes. And what tucks it all in is the wishful lament of Dr. Dog's poesy. From "I don't need no doctor to mend my heart/I just need you to mend my heart" to "If you're always on the go/Make an angel in the snow and freeze," the lyrics of Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken featured on Fate hit a soft spot. The lovable album catapulted Dr. Dog from East Coast underdogs whose biggest fans were other musicians to a group lauded by fans and critics all over.
ERIK DEUTSCH BAND @ GRUSIN MUSIC HALL
Since studying music at the University of Colorado and moving to Brooklyn after living in the area for a decade, keyboardist Erik Deutsch has gone on to play with Norah Jones, Trevor Dunn, Erin McKeown and did a three-year stint with Charlie Hunter. Prior to that, while living in Colorado, Deutsch played in Fat Mama, studied with Art Lande and also performed with Ron Miles -- two musicians he lists as major influences. The keyboardist gets extra funky and groovy on his brand new album, Demonio Teclado, his follow-up to 2010's Hush Money.