Weekend's best live music bets: Sleigh Bells, Cults, Heartless Bastards and more

Categories: Best Concerts

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TGIF! You've worked hard all week, now it's time to coast into weekend. Plenty of great music on tap to help you unwind -- or get wound-up, as the case may be. Tonight at the Ogden, Sleigh Bells assaults the senses, Mojo Nixon kicks off a two-night stand at the Lion's Lair, JJ Grey and Mofro get their groove on with Toots and the Maytals at the Fillmore, and Cults finish off their two-night Colorado run at the Fox Theatre. Tomorrow night, The Heartless Bastards tear it up at the Bluebird, Dyalekt, Low Gravity and Jaded Poets host CD release parties and much, much more. Page down to see your best live music bets.


FRIDAY, APRIL 13

SLEIGH BELLS @ OGDEN THEATRE

Read: Q&A with Derek Miller of Sleigh Bells

Combining the former guitar player from hardcore band Poison the Well with a former Nickelodeon star, Sleigh Bells is the most aggressive, poptastic, ear-drum-splitting glamour-thrash band around. On its debut, Treats, released on M.I.A.'s N.E.E.T. Records, Sleigh Bells offered up songs like "Rill Rill" and "Tell Em" that manage to rock the cranium while melting the heart. This February saw the band's Saturday Night Live debut, perfectly timed with the album Reign of Terror, and the act killed the audience with its hopelessly infectious "Comeback Kid." If you've somehow managed to miss out on the wonder that is Sleigh Bells, take a moment out of your lunch break to view the video for that song. We guarantee that when it ends, you'll be asking yourself if you have time to watch it again.

MOJO NIXON @ LION'S LAIR

Read: Q&A with Mojo Nixon

Mojo Nixon's music and the reptuation of his outrageous stage persona proceed him. The hilariously wrong songs that he wrote with his then-partner in crime, Skid Roper, such as "Elvis Is Everywhere" and "Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child" were songs everyone knew, even if they weren't necessarily on the radio. The video for the latter was even banned from MTV. Nixon and Roper parted company in 1989, but Nixon kept recording with artists like Jello Biafra and the Beat Farmers. His most recent release is the humorously profane Whiskey Rebellion, which essentially served as his "unretirement," meaning that he will occasionally play a show when he's not talking politics, NASCAR and country music on XM radio.

J.J. GREY & MOFRO // TOOTS & MAYTALS @ FILLMORE AUDITORIUM

Read: Q&A with JJ Grey

A masterful storyteller in the grand southern tradition, JJ Grey gets his raw material from the piney woods and blackwater swamps of rural north Florida and delivers it with the demonic fire of a Pentecostal preacher. On their first live album (and accompanying DVD), Brighter Days (Alligator), recorded a year ago in Atlanta, Grey and a horn-stoked Mofro tear through their distinctive blend of Skynyrd-esque southern rock, swamp blues, backwoods funk, Memphis soul, and Deep South R&B. Grey sighs wistfully about mosquitoes, rattlers, and gators on the quintessential "Lochloosa" before ripping into developers with both his gritty howl and ferocious electric guitar.

CULTS @ FOX THEATRE

Read: (Review) Cults at Larimer Lounge 8/1/11

Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion met at the House of Blues in San Diego, where Follin's older brother Richie's band, the Willowz, had a show. The two hit it off; both happened to be leaving to study film at the New School, which is where they formed Cults. The group's 2011 debut album, released on the Columbia Records-affiliated imprint In the Name Of, headed by Lily Allen, was well received critically. Its vibrant, gossamer melodies and bright, hopeful vocals struck an immediate chord with those attuned to the soulful innocence that Phil Spector brought out in his girl groups. Though toying with the concept of actual cults, this band and its music are too playful and uplifting to represent any sinister subculture.


ALSO TONIGHT:

- Escape the Fate, with Attack Attack, the World Alive, Mest, Secrets at Summit Music Hall

- K.Flay at Larimer Lounge

- The Infamous Stringdusters with Pert' Near Sandstone at Bluebird Theater

- Perfume Genius with Parenthetical Girls at hi-dive


- The Travelin' McCourys featuring Keller Williams with Head for the Hills at Boulder Theater

- 11th Hour at Baker Street Pub & Grill

- Bad Luck City with Bonnie and the Beard, Elliott Moonshine & the Ghost, Nathan Cahoone at The Walnut Room

- The Black Seeds with Rubblebucket at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom

- Colorado Music Buzz Bandwagon with Color, the Foot, Thanks to Philo, We Were Cosmonauts, What Happened Saturday, Tommy Freed & the Trio at Herman's Hideaway

- Conquer Everest with Driftin' Suns, Coriander, Ben Park Drive and Jimmy Bratcher at Toad Tavern

- David Connelly at Chinook Bar & Grill

- Famous Curve at The End Pub & Grub

- The Gristle Gals at Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge

- Josh Blackburn at FuNuGyz

- Tracy Lawrence at Grizzly Rose

- The Mighty Short Bus at Little Bear

- Mr. Steak's '80s Rock Party at 3 Kings Tavern

- Mustard Plug with Left Alone and Potato Pirates at Gothic Theatre

- Nolan McInnis at Platte River Bar & Grill

- Offcolor with the Royalty at Moe's Original BBQ & Bowl

- The Resonatorz at Cactus Jack's Saloon

- Ronnie Shellist Band at Zephyr Lounge

- Roshan Bhartiya and Andy Skellenger at Swallow Hill Music Hall

- Rowdy Shadehouse Funk Band at Herb's

- Sam Holt Band with Robbie Peoples & the Bank Walkers and Jaden Carlson Trio at Cervantes' Other Side

- Sammy Dee Morton at Jordinelli's Sports Bar & Restaurant

- Space in Time With Motodrone and Governors at Old Curtis Street Bar

- SRS3 at Highland Pacific Restaurant and Oyster Bar

- Thumpin at The Buffalo Rose

- The Trainwreckers at Continental Room & Lounge

- Wonderlic at Appaloosa Grill

- Paganfest 2012 With Turisas, Alestorm, Ex Deo, Arkona and Huntress at Marquis Theater

- Reed Foehl (CD release) with the Good Lovelies at Swallow Hill Music Hall

- The Informants with Reckless Red at The Soiled Dove Underground

- The Vindicators at The Bar

- AKA at Jake's Roadhouse

- AOA at G.I. Jodi's Bar & Grill

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