Weekend's best live music bets: Lumineers, Titwrench, HeavenFest, Kid Ink and more
Fresh off its appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno this past Wednesday, the Lumineers are capping off what must already be a memorable week for the band by performing at Red Rocks tonight with Cake. When this show was booked, the headliner was obviously the star attraction. But since then, this hometown act has risen to promience in its own right on the strength of its ubiquitious hit single "Ho Hey" from its self-titled Dualtone Records debut, which has ruled radio and is featured prominently in Bing commercial. This show is most certainly worth checking out, as the next time this outfit plays at Red Rocks, it will be headlining its own show.
SEARCHING FOR ELLIOT SMITH @ ORIENTAL THEATER
Elliott Smith was one of those rare artists whose music was so poignant and evocative that it genuinely felt like he was pouring his heart out just to you. He wasn't, of course, but it sure felt that way. He had friends and fans all over the world, and the news of his death sent us all reeling. In the intervening years, there have been a number of articles and albums and books about Smith, and now there's a film, Gil Reyes's documentary, Searching for Elliot Smith, which is slated to be screened tonight at the Oriental Theater,followed by a Q&A with Reyes and performance by Mary Lou Lord, who will be heading up a bill that also includes a number of esteemed locals, I'm With Her, the Raven & The Writing Desk, Chella Negro, eldren, Kyle James Hauser, Poet's Row, Straight Nerdy Like a Cool Kid and Nicholas Schmidt performing Smith's songs.
Since first launching in 2008 at Northern Hills Christian Church, HeavenFest has steadily grown into one of the biggest festivals in the region. The lineup continues to improve each year as the crowds continue to grow. Some of the biggest names in Christian music, including Switchfoot, Jeremy Camp, Underoath, Thousand Foot Krutch, Superchick, are among the more than fifty acts slated to perform on seven stages. Admission is $35 for adults, $19 for kids six to twelve, and the fest is free to those five and under. All of the proceeds will be donated to charity. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the fest runs through midnight, with an afterparty from midnight to 2 a.m. (HeavenFest.com for more info)
Unless you're tuning in to some kind of specialty show, the number of female voices, literally and otherwise, that you'll hear on the radio or see on TV is criminally small compared to those of their male counterparts. That ratio drops further when you try to find women doing challenging or experimental music. While that dismal record seems unlikely to change soon, Titwrench Fest is bringing together some of the most interesting and innovative avant-garde and experimental female artists performing today in an effort to not only showcase their art but also to encourage trends toward more women being involved in musical expression that includes, and goes far beyond, more conventional female roles in the performing arts.
LOS LOBOS @ ARVADA CENTER FOR THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES
Is any band in America more revered or respected than East Los Angeles roots vatos Los Lobos? The core members of this American musical treasure -- David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, Steve Berlin, Louis Perez and Conrad Lozano -- have produced nineteen albums and played everywhere from an Angeleno quinceañera to Farm Aid to the White House. Their sound spans virtually all aspects of American music, from blues, zydeco, soul and kick-you-in-the-head rock and roll to various Latino styles, including cumbia, norteño and Tex-Mex. Critics turn handstands whenever they drop an album, and their fans follow them like Deadheads. It's ironic that one of the most important acts of the late twentieth century is best known for its cover of "La Bamba." Their first truly significant album, 1984's T Bone Burnett-produced Will The Wolf Survive?, asked the question, and these guys answer in the affirmative every time they step onto a stage. Viva Los Lobos.
DAVID WILCOX @ MISHAWAKA AMPHITHEATRE
In richly intimate songs, David Wilcox creates audio tapestries that blend intricate arrangements and warmly appealing tunes with the musician's ongoing personal growth. Whether recording in a log cabin -- as he did for the 1997 release Turning Point -- or experimenting with unconventional guitar techniques, the introspective Wilcox has produced quality tracks for almost thirty years' worth of albums filled with poetic purity. He credits his singular style -- folk standards woven with scraps of jazz and pop, rootsy arrangements often flecked with remnants of his brief classical training -- to the rustic influences of Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, but it's his own intense lyrical clarity that makes both his studio and his stage performances unforgettable.
H.R. OF BAD BRAINS @ BLUEBIRD THEATER
One of the most volatile and acclaimed bands to rise out of the Washington, D.C., hardcore punk scene in the early '80s, Bad Brains overcame novelty status (four men of color playing punk) by mixing blazing speed and virtuosity with reggae riddims and social consciousness. Fronted by the often unpredictable HR Hudson, the band has been more on again, off again than a light switch over the years. While Bad Brains delivered the punk, HR on his own tends to favor the reggae and dub.
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.