The twelve best shows in Denver this weekend
9. RJD2 @ BLUEBIRD THEATER | FRI, 2/1/13
The last time RJD2 took to the small, technology-overwhelmed stage of the Bluebird almost exactly a year ago, the DJ/producer was barely recognizable behind a Daft Punk-style robot mask and the sound effects box strapped to his waist like an oversized graphing calculator. Like Girl Talk, the campier, glitchier producer he is often compared to, this is a performance that depends largely upon preparation and timing, though it relies much more heavily on technical DJ skills. Onstage, Ramble John Krohn manipulates four turntables, an impressive stack of vinyl and various effects setups for roughly an hour and a half. Backlit in alternating red, blue and green, the spread is as much a part of the show as its puppet master.
8. MACHINE GUN KELLY/SNOWDOWN @ CITY HALL | SAT, 2/2/13
Machine Gun Kelly (named after the infamous early 20th Century gangster) is well-known for his rapid-fire delivery, rabid fan base, "Wild Boy" persona and crazy antics (during a performance for a Microsoft Store, he was stomping across tables, destroying several computers before getting shut down by the very company that hired him). MGK asserts that he is also a superior lyricist and anybody who doesn't see it isn't on his level. The rapper's first studio album, Lace Up, has done well, debuting at number four on the Billboard Charts and receiving generally positive reviews. MGK is only 22 years old, and with his career only really beginning, he has plenty of time to convert the nonbelievers.
7. HOT WATER MUSIC @ SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | SUN, 2/3/13
Hot Water Music formed in 1993 when a group of friends got together after their other bands split up. The chemistry was immediate, and the foursome relocated to Gainesville, Florida, where Hot Water Music became one of the most well-regarded melodic hardcore bands of the '90s. Eminently tuneful, the quartet also benefited from Chuck Ragan's eloquent turns of phrase, in which he captured the essence of the experiences, yearnings and travails of average Americans. In some ways, Ragan's words are punk-rock existentialist poetry with none of the pretension. The bandmembers split amicably in 2006 but left the door open to work together again. In 2008, Hot Water Music got back together, and in 2012 the group released Exister, which was recorded at the Blasting Room in Fort Collins.